The Photograph

It was the meeting I’d been waiting for my whole life.

The Enemy ambushed my squad and was overpowering us. My unit was falling fast under the fire.

I took a hit to the shoulder and dropped, just as the kid’s unit arrived. They rushed in, driving a wedge between us and the Enemy, while the kid himself pulled me to safety.

He was young and dirty and unremarkable, but still I recognized him. And when I asked his name, my suspicions were confirmed. I asked every question I could think of while he dressed my wound. When he finished, I had to share a piece of my past and a piece of his future.

I handed the picture to him. She wasn’t yet the woman I remembered, but no longer the girl he would come to know. The kid stared at the photo, studying every line, every loose hair. He had completely forgotten where and when we were.

I coughed. Embarrassed, the kid tried to hand the photo back to me. I pressed it into his hand.

“I want you to keep it,” I smiled. In my head, I added, Dad…

The End

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