Day 3-E

Day 3-E

A reflection on Gallipoli in short-story form (in hopes that it’ll become a longer story in time)

Kemal told us to go die. No questions, no hope, no real tactic at all. Just go die. And I really couldn’t do that. I wasn’t done living. It’s funny how long an hour seems when you think you’re marching to your death. After five minutes of moving in formation, you breathe with ease. “Hey,” you start to think, “what am I worried about? I’ve still got a few whole miles to live!” I marched the whole distance next to my little brother Tommy. We were drafted from [Konya] at the same time. Wouldn’t luck have it that the letters showed up at mum’s house the say of my 22nd birthday — the exact opposite of everything I’d asked God for when I prayed at night ever since I was 12. Peace. A job at the bank. A good wife. Success for my little brother, three years my junior. With one routine mail delivery God took out a grudge he’d had on my father for his alcoholism on me and Tommy. “You okay, bro?” I asked him quietly, deepening my voice and jerking my right cheek up into an awkward grin as if to spray perfume over rotting dead fish to attempt (quite poorly) not to betray my own fear and apprehension. “Yeah, man, having the time of my life!” he replied with genuine joviality that I had to pretend didn’t shock me. “Who could ask for a better day to march to their death in?” Tommy had always been the more carefree, lighthearted one of us. Marching next to him towards most certain death, I had trouble seeing him as a full-grown man in a military uniform. He still looked to me like he was wearing my 2-size-too-big hand-me-downs. We marched on, everyone seemingly at peace with death…except me. I had plans of proposing when I got back. I’d been planning the perfect way to ask Lily, my girlfriend of three marvelous years, to marry me. we would go out to her favorite ice cream shop on the beach. While ambling on, I would ask one of the sun-roasted boys who bum around on the beach to take a photo of us. And when he started to countdown, I would get down on one knee and pull out the ring I’ve been saving up for for almost a year now. She’d start to cry and I would kiss the top of her head and hold her. It would be perfect. But that’s not

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