Randolf's room was nothing short of inspiring. The fabled war hero was home at last, and had since completely remodeled his room to more closely reflect the changed man he was now instead of the naive boy he'd been so many years ago.
A simple bed stood in the corner, military blankets stacked at the foot of it. He never utilized them because he was so used to falling asleep cold out on the field. An even simpler nightstand stood by, where nothing but a gas lamp stood, along with a single case of rich whale oil and a box of matches. At the foot of the bed was a locked trunk. It was about an arm span wide, with no key in sight. Randolf's friends have rumored it to be filled with memories and secrets the general wishes to forget. A plain brown rug was laid across the floor of the cozy room. It was nothing special, but it kept your feet warm.
A dresser sat near a blank, empty window opposite of the bed. The dresser, though not visible from the outside, contained the following items of up-most importance; a silver key, a torn uniform, a bloodied rag, and a painful reminder of the father that had been. Above this dresser hung a pristine mirror, used for three things; shaving, gazing, and talking. Nothing lay on the top with the exception of a thin layer of dust.
The walls, unlike the furniture, were something to marvel at for hours on end. The wooden plank walls were covered with the tales of a lifetime, the pains of a soldier, and the tears of, quite possibly, the bravest man this world has yet seen. Three guns hung side by side, cold and untouched for ages. One belonged to a grandfather, the next to a father, and the last to a son. Several black-and-white pictures of fun memories covered the wall behind the dresser. However, only one stood out above all the others. A man stood at the lip of a canyon, looking out upon a gray sea of sky with white clouds that were the fish. The man stood in an everlasting salute, frozen in the picture for all of time, merely a memory. A ghost of a dearly-missed general, father of another general, perhaps greater than the first. Around the frame was a wind of thick barbed wire.
As you looked around the room, you could see tons of more pictures littering the walls. In the midst of the frames of memories, was a small American flag, with a clean, crisp, brown and red uniform, complete with a hat and sword. A lot of the times Randolf would sit and stare for hours at the lifeless uniform tacked to the wall, wishing. What was he wishing? I cannot tell you. Perhaps he wishes for a living father. Maybe for a friend that does not treat him as if he had a handicap, which he did. A single arm was missing from him. The right arm, cut off to save him from savage frostbite. But he was used to it, for he had fended off three healthy soldiers with only one arm, but his friends treated him like he wasn't capable. "Need some help?" They'd ask. "No" would always be his answer. Then came the sympathetic looks. He was sick of them.
Whatever he wished, he knew that it weighed him down, like concrete blocks on his feet. He dragged that weight around all day and night, and it showed on his face. The war hero Randolf Kaperski was wishing for something he knew he'd never have. What is he wishing? We will never know. But we're witnessing history repeating itself, a soldier breaking down slowly, crumbling. And there's nothing we can do but wait and watch and hope for a turn of events.
But now it's time to say goodbye to Randolf, who prefers to go by Randy, like his father, and wish him the best of luck in the internal war he's fighting right now.
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