Remember the ones you left behind, the dead with their faces during the last moments you saw them speak. How could you possibly bring them back with you? What means did you have if there were any? It was such a cruel thing not being able to give what they truly deserved, as their voices fill your head in your sleep as you lie there on the dirt. You wonder what were those they prayed for? To believe in the war is different from rooting for the deeds that come along with it. It was necessary to take someone’s life, but one should not believe in it. I phoned the commander and asked him to wait until the sun reaches above the scalp. But damn the politics that helped oiled the gears which led us here. Fool is to believe that all are selfless. I was once proud and naive, for the flags I heeded to represent. I was an urged rock that was given life, to be heavy and still as I am also numb.
A friend is when I speak out loud to myself. It has been groomed unconsciously that it now turns into a living grieving habit. Yes, it is normal that you have thoughts brewing to the point of discussion or a mere debate with yourself. But it should only stay within an inaudible state and not to be uttered for others to hear. The mouth is for conversations that require a pair of ears other than yours. And so, it is unusual to speak that way.
But how does one take control in the most piercing moments when the scorching sun strikes you back hard and when it turned the tracks of your tears into mere salt on your cheeks. When you only have the barrel of the gun to depend on, when all of your brothers are motionless around you and you chose to crawl towards the one you are closest with. You see him drowning in his own spoils and blood. You are to willingly stick your fingers into the bullet holes just to convince any of them to accompany you even with just a hurtful moan. You’d hope to be as faithful as your resolve. The residues of these days are a stench that will never go away. You rely on the handgun hoping it will not fly off when the time for shooting has come. When it is already time to give up the bullet that will carry your message across, that the time for writing novels must be set aside for now. It is not because you were left with no other choice. It was the circumstance presented at your feet. You knew this was not the end, but you were also sure you could be absolutely wrong.
And you’d tell yourself, that the time for grieving is not now. You will have plenty of that hereafter. Nor is this the place to do it. The dead must be respectfully cleansed. The dried-up mud and blood must be washed off to reveal the chivalry and truth of their souls. But most of all, as a final act of selflessness, for the families’ sake and the loved ones who waited, as one is sure that they will not have the stomach to witness the remnants of the horrors of their fate. So, your body must be cleansed. Your battle uniform must be replaced.
And so, you had it done, for them, always for them.