Gone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 09, 2016

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Submitted: January 09, 2016

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Will has lost everything. His home, his family, his friends and even his dignity. He was an army soldier fighting for his country, but now he has been discharged because the sergeant no longer believes him to be fit for work. Fighting in Iraq was the only thing that kept him going. Now he feels that he has no purpose and is sat on a train headed home but with nothing there to go back for.

Hunched over with his face in his sweaty palms, Will sits in silence, willing himself to keep himself together and not to give in to the uncontrollable sobbing and tears threatening to break out. Men don’t cry. That’s what he has to keep telling himself. The train pulls up and he hauls his khaki rucksack over his right shoulder and joins the queue for the platform.

Five minutes later, Will leaves the train station and flags down a taxi with a stony grimace on his face.

“12 Trimming Road”, he says before slamming the taxi door behind him and collapsing on to the back seat. The taxi driver turns around to frown at his passenger.

“Sorry mate, nobody goes down there no more. Not since...well, you know what”.

“The bombing? Yeah I do know, I was there. I don’t care that no one goes down there, that’s where I’m going. Now just drive!”

Taken aback, the driver turns around and does as he’s told. No cab driver messes with an ex soldier unless they’ve got a death wish.

After twenty minutes of dead silence, Will pays the driver and gets out of the taxi slowly, taking the time to drink in the scene around him. A shockingly different scene in comparison to those happy times before he enlisted...

Laughing and joking a nineteen year old Will strode down the cobbled pavement with a cheeky smile and a twinkle in his eyes. Holding his hand and walking alongside him was his blushing girlfriend of two years, Abbey Green. The little cottage was in beautiful condition with its little thatched roof and wooden doors and window frames painted blue. The huge willow tree that was his great grandfather’s pride and joy stood next to the pond in the front garden, towering above the modest little house that he called home...

He remembered sitting under the shade of the tree with his arm around Abbey, her head on his shoulder as he gently kissed the top of her head. He remembered how she loved being surrounded by the sea of red and yellow poppies, the bluebells, tulips and the pansies which stretched out for miles around them. Her favourites though were the rose bushes underneath the front windows of the house. He preferred climbers himself, like the ivy that clung to the trellising that framed the front door. Evergreen, dependable and always there, all year round.

But all of that now is merely memories, elements of a faded photograph. Will’s already damaged heart stops for a moment, falls to his feet and shatters before picking up pace and beating hard. Devastation and desolation. That’s all that is left for him now. The once spectacular array of watercolours in a masterpiece painting has been smudged and crumbled into a mass of ash and grey rubble. This is not unlike Will’s current state of mind. All the building blocks of memories of who he is and who he used to be, of what is important and what doesn’t matter, of what is right and what is wrong, are all jumbled up in a nonsensical heap. Fact or fiction, truth or fabrication, emotion or reason, they’re intangible. Blended together and indistinguishable. Snatches of the past flash across his mind like a silent movie: the day he met Abbey; the night he proposed to her on his uncle’s boat; his wedding day; the day they moved in together; the day he first held his beautiful baby girl in his arms...little Cathy. Slumping against the old willow tree, he thinks back to when he saw her for the last time...


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