I sat there in silence, like usual. Who else would I talk to? My pizza was sitting there getting cold, my appetite was gone. It was his favorite, and I was going to eat it without him.
Suddenly dread flashed over me, and my heart started pounding. The line across the bottom of the screen read “Breaking news from war in Somalia.” It's hardly breaking news.
“Land Mine in Somalia kills five American soldiers” States the blonde reporter candidly.
I immediately turn off the television... I knew this would come eventually. I just hoped it wouldn’t be now.
I slowly got up from the my seat on the couch, and slouched up the stairs. I looked at his door, and memories that have suppressed for a while filled my mind. I looked at the board that I used to finally fill in the hole at the top of his door. He always asked me to do it but I was just too busy. I guess I was just too busy for a lot of things really. Maybe I filled in the whole when I found out how to keep the memories from leaking out, or maybe just to keep myself busy. Just like when I finally fixed the door handle that was broken for years. Maybe I felt guilty for not having enough time.
Then I looked at the thing I had been most dreading to see; the poster. How come I had not enough time for going to his track meets, but enough time to pressure him into joining the army? This is my fault. This is my fault. The thoughts came rushing into my mind. He could have gone division one, he could have been safe at home for summer vacation right now.
Then I opened the door as if I owed it to him to put him in my mind. I looked at all the ribbons and trophies lined up on his shelf like little soldiers. Like little soldiers… I read them. “Ogdensburg Free Academy: first place: High Jump” “Van dusen Invitational: First place: Long Jump” There were so many. So many he won. So many he told me about. So many I missed. How could this happen to a local boy from such a small town? How could this happen to a successful track star? How could I let this happen?
I moved toward his bed, and sat down. I looked at the top he had gotten for christmas when he was three years old. He played with it so much… by himself… without me. I looked at the picture sitting next to it. It was him in his uniform. I put it up for his return home in a month. The change shown on that bedside table was immense. From small helpless child to man fighting for his country. I couldn’t be more proud of him.