Secondhand Soldier

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ryan Chandler is a fresh out of high school Army recruit. This story depicts a battle of his heart, mind, and body; something holding him back and something pushing him forward.

Submitted: February 24, 2012

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Submitted: February 24, 2012

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She has a smile that makes you want to write poetry. The fiddling and fiddling and fidgeting of the room fills your mind, thetap tap tapof fingers, impatient feet bouncing on the carpet. Chaos, organized. You're here to enlist. You can't addord college and the economy is down. Military enrollment solves all problems. You haven't told her yet, afraid of her reaction. She'll be afraid for your life and that breaks your heart.

You don't know if your parents will be proud or upset.Drum, drum.Your heart is beating in your ears. Pounding, throbbing, aching. Soon heart beats will turn into gunshots and bullets will replace rain. Your name is called. You approach the mousey secretary, she sighs. Her eyes are sad. Sending people off to war must be hard. She smiles, but it doesn't touch her eyes. They're green, dark. They remind you of the forest. You wonder if her eyes ever rain.

Doubt shakes you and you're nearly ready to give up. She's asking questions of the painfully simple variety; birthdate, social security number, age, height, weight. Things flow and you're silent in all the right spaces. She asks you if you really want to be a soldier and you struggle for composure.

"It's not exactly at the top of my ambitions list," you smile, "but beggers can't be choosers."

This seems to satisfy her, another sadd smile crossing her lips. Pain lingers in her eyes as she nods, taking your enrollment form. Soon it will be official, your name filed. Property of the United States Army. Goodbyes are said and you turn to leave.

The sun is blinding as you push open the tinted door. Such a beautiful day to sell your soul. You think of what you'll say, what you can do to lessen the blow. You think of standing in front of her, tears running down her face. There's no point in prolonging the ignorance.

As you drive you wonder if what you've done is right. You're tired of thinking, there has to be a solution. You click on the radio:

We lock our souls in cages

We hide inside our shells

It's hard to free the ones you love

Oh, when you can't forgive yourself

Yeah, forgive yourself

Switchfoot does decently, making you forget your troubles until you reach Deanna's door. You text her:Are you home? I need to see you.


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