Wish You Were Here
‘Build me a son, O Lord, who
will be strong enough to know
when he is weak, and brave
enough to face himself when
he is afraid, one who will be
proud and unbending in
honest defeat, and humble
and gentle in victory.’
I’m sitting here surrounded by death and bloodshed and gunshots. Also known as war. I hate it Marge. I hate it as much as you do but I have to do this for my country. Midst of all this nefariousness, you’re my ray of light. You’re my sunshine. You always will be.
I wish you were here. Right by me. Telling me that it’ll be okay. That I’ll be able to pull through this. But then that makes me selfish. I never would want you to be ringed by this horror. Not my beautiful angel.
You were always afraid to let me go when I had to. You’d clasp my coat lapels, your hazel eyes wide with masked fear. Fear that I wouldn’t return to hold you in my arms. I was your brave little soldier. I would always come back. I’ll fight off anything that comes in our way. But you never knew….. I was just as afraid as you were. The thought of never coming back to my angel always loomed at the back of my mind. But I would be brave for you. Always.
I remember the day I put a ring on your finger. Tears were running down your red cheeks as you held me, saying over and over again that you loved me. You said that you’ll always be my forever. That you’d never let me go. All I could do was smile. I couldn’t say a word Marge. I really wanted to. But I was so dazed and overwhelmed. The image of you with me for the rest of my life ingrained in my mind. It was literally the happiest moment of my life.
On our wedding day as I stood at the altar facing the priest, I could hear the quiet whisperings and exclamations of delight as they saw you walking down the aisle. You were probably the most beautiful bride they’d ever seen. I turned around to see you clad in pristine white looking as pure and innocent as you were. You had your hands around your father’s arms but I’m sorry to say that I may not have noticed him as much. I only had eyes for you, my sunshine. I could feel my eyes prickling with tears as you stood before me, smiling sweetly. As we exchanged our vows I meant them with my every little fibre and I know you did too. You were mine, completely and wholeheartedly.
The next few years had been incredible. At least the time I had with you, were. Every single night with you was more precious to me than anything. You would whisper sweet nothings in my ear as you held me close, listening to my heartbeat as if it were yours. It was. My heart only ever beats for you. I never told you that though. How much you mean to me.
The day I found out that I may not be able to give you the chance to conceive a child was the day I loathed myself. I hated that I disappointed you even though you kept telling me that it was alright. You just didn’t want to hurt me but I knew how much you wanted a baby. It would be our little bundle of joy. You used to say before our dreams came crashing down.
Imagine my surprise when you told me you where pregnant and that too with twins. I was stunned and shocked beyond belief. I wanted you to see how happy I was but you couldn’t. I was far away from you then, somewhere along the border of Afghanistan and the only happiness for me was to hear your sweet voice now and then.
I missed everything. The visits to the obgyn. Your first sonogram. All of it. I couldn’t be there when you had to go through all those hormonal changes. All the nausea and morning sickness. I wanted to be the husband you deserve Marge. It’s the one thing I couldn’t be.
I am not a man of emotions. I really never was. I kept it all in. Hidden away. Until the day I broke. The day my life was nobbled from me. My life that was you.
The day was obnubilate. Blurry. There were people. A hell lot of them. All in black. They had come to see you. There was a priest too. In black robes. His face a solemn mask. Everything was black and grey. It was the day I stopped seeing colours.
Then there was you. The white angel. You lay on the dark coffin wearing the same shade of white that you did on our wedding day. Holding a fresh white lily against your chest. The droplets of dew still visible on the petals. You looked serene and calm. Your lips slightly parted. As beautiful as the day you were born.
They asked me to say something. About the time we were together. About the beauty of our bond. So I got on the podium, my face impassive as always. And then the tears came. It obscured my vision and made breathing difficult. I couldn’t do it. They would never understand what we’ve had and what I lost. All I could think was ‘I wish you were here’. To hold me. To soothe me.
A sea of faces with pity. That’s what I got. I didn’t want want their pity or empathy. I wanted you. And my miracles that we created together.
How could you leave me Marge? You were the only one I had. The only one I hadn’t lost. And now you’re gone too.
I wish I could do it all over again. I would treat you a million times better. I would have been there. Right next to you as you battled your nightmares. I just never knew baby. That you were under depression. That you’ve been hiding under a ruthless facade even from me. You’ve been my pillar and strength all this while. And when I had the chance to be yours, you didn’t let me be.
There is one thing that I regret the most. I never told you that I loved you. Not once. Not even when you’ve said it……countless times. You’d never asked me why I hadn’t. I was afraid. Maybe you understood. I was afraid that I would have to leave you and never be able to tell it to you every single day. But I’ll tell you now. I love you Marge. I love you with my everything. More than anything. I belong to you.
And now here I am sitting on rough gravel and sand, dust and splintered rocks around me. War is an ugly thing. Something that transpires due to the inability of two parties to compromise. Lurid violence and death being the final answer. They never learn. As we fall, they ascend, fulfilling their purpose.
There’s a wound on my chest. Three to be exact. One that was made long ago when I lost you. The other two that was made on this warfield when two bullets hit me on the same spot, one over the other. Fresh blood sprouts out from the wound by and by. The pain is too great that I feel numb. All I can do is look up at the grey sky and wait. I can almost sense it. My soul leaving my body to join its other half. Every soldier has an angel and you’re mine. You’re the light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel being my death.
Now, I would never have to wish for you to be here with me. ‘Cause I’m coming to you. And I’ll always be there with you. Always and forever.