Shots rang out everywhere. It was hard to tell what was coming from where. Jax squatted low and had his back against a portion of a wall that remained around the Wanat rubble. He held his M-4 across his chest ready to engage at any moment. Jason had his back against the wall facing him. Rays of the setting sun peered around the corner where Jason stood. The smoke and dust seem to take on a golden hue all around his father. Clay and dust rained down around them as rounds of ammunition embedded into the second story walls above them and fell through the bombed out floor.
“He doesn’t love us mom!!”
Jax’s voice echoed from years ago just as a shadow appeared in the light. And then time seemed to slow. The sounds of war were gone and all he could hear was a distant memory.
“Jaxon don’t say that! Don’t ever say that!” His mother echoed back.
A Taliban insurgent came around the corner from behind Jason coming straight for Jax. Jason and the insurgent were both startled but Jason acted quickly. Jase dropped his weapon grabbed the insurgent by his chest and flipped him over his leg.
“Why did he leave again? Why is he always leaving us?”
The two men struggled for a moment but Jase managed to get his knee on the insurgent’s chest and bared his weight down onto him, while he released one hand and withdrew his knife from his hip.
“When you love your family you don’t leave them!!”
Jase drove the blade deep into his throat and he continued to plunge deeper as felt the bones crack beneath the blade. The fluid could be heard filling his throat and mouth as the insurgent gagged on his own blood. And with one last breath, splattered blood across Jason’s face and chest. Breathless he looked up at Jax.
“He does it because he loves us, Jax.”
It happened in a moment’s time and yet a lifetime passed.
Jax, in utter disbelief of what just happened, came and stood over the two.
When he was sure the Taliban soldier was dead, Jase wiped the blood from his face. The steady flow of the tat tat tat returned from beyond their walls but their world was silent. Jason still on top of the body sat back on his heels and looked up as if to catch his breath. Jax could barely get a handle of what just happened.
Jason picked up his weapon and stood upright. Jax was still staring at the insurgent’s lifeless eyes that seem to look right at him and through at the same time.
“Jay,” Jason stood oddly under the dark cover of the bombed out building. But then he swayed slightly and coughed spraying bright red blood from his mouth. He walked two staggering steps toward Jax and fell to his knees. Jax slid catching his father in his arms.
“no no no no No No NO NO!!!!!!” Jax had to stop this. This was not happening. He was here to stop this.