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The girl trudged down the field path, her heart heavy in her chest, her shoulders bent forward, her entire upper body caved in on itself, crumpled from depression, as sobs of deep grief wracked her body. Her friend, her best friend, the one whom she had shared everything with, her every thought, every time, good and bad, was gone. He had joined the Air Force. She hadn’t liked the decision from the start, but she had supported him anyway. He had seemed so excited to be doing some good for the country.
In a moment of weakness she had asked him,
“why? Why do you want to join up and leave me here? We always go on adventures together, and now you’re going on this adventure alone.”
He had replied,
“Because someone has to. Someone has to fight. And this is more of a duty, for the strong. I don’t want you to come along, only because I don’t want you hurt. I’m doing this to protect you and others I love.”
“That someone doesn’t have to be you,”she had said, trying to hide her panic.
“But it does,” his voice was gentle, an attempt at comforting;
“I’m strong enough to do this, so I must.”
A month later, he was gone, off to boot camp. Another month passed, and he was overseas. With her best friend an ocean away, this had taken a terrible toll on the girl. She ate less, slept less, didn’t often laugh like she used to, and constantly worried. Though they wrote each other letters every day, anxiety gnawed at her insides like a poison.
Then, the news came. The letter she had been dreading since the day he signed up.
“We are very sorry to inform you,” it began. She could barely bring herself to read the rest. He was dead, killed when an enemy plane had blown up his aircraft. They could not locate his body from the explosion, but there was no chance of his survival.
She collapsed right where she stood, sobbing, wailing her grief for all the world to hear. All she could feel was the newly-ripped black hole inside her, where her soul used to be. He was gone, as was a big part of her. Neither would ever return. She dropped the letter, and ran; through the house, out the door, across the road, past fields and woods. She had run many miles before she could go no longer, and slowed to a walk. Trudging now, she stopped. Her knees gave out, and she fell, lying on that field path. Looking up at the darkening sky, she closed her eyes and wept.