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Historical Fiction Romance Suspense

What was my home? Was my home where I lived or some other place?  I Thought my home was my family, but boy was I wrong. My real home was the military or maybe I should say the battlefield was my home. I was drafted at age seventeen, a prodigy they called me. I didn’t know what that word meant, but I knew one thing for sure and that I needed to join. I needed The thrill of war because it fueled my desires. One of my favorite parts of war was having my comrades side by side with me. 

I do have to say my favorite memory from the war was Bao An Dung, a Vietnam man. He lived in a small village; I couldn’t even pronounce the name of. The village was under American occupation, living there was pleasant for a while, at least for the duration of the war. Bao An Dung seemed to be for the cause, he was a cook. I never ate it, but my comrades loved his cooking. I would rather eat the rations, also more trustworthy. 

His wife on the other hand was beautiful, unlike any other, I had seen. While I did not take part in his cooking I did take part in his wife, every night, it made for great entertainment. Her body was soft, her hair silky. I never told the man and she did the same. I never learned her name, never bothered to. I had no passion for her, but I faked it for her. “I love you” I would tell her and she ate it right up. I couldn’t believe she believed me. 

She would come to my tent at night and I would give her little trinkets, mostly cheap necklaces that I had bought before coming to Vietnam, but she loved them and would give me a warm smile. I told her I could get small things for her, things she wanted, so long as she kept it a secret. I made her promise to keep it a secret, she agreed.  

As the days raged on the battlefield, killing North Vietnamese men and children, it was never hard to kill, never. I noticed myself waking up in cold sweats, I never knew why but I knew they had something to do with my dreams. I was always comforted by Bao An Dung’s wife, she made the nights a little better, much better. 

One day I got an abrupt scream, coming into my tent, it was one of my comrades. He had a smile strung across his face, like a clown, he always had a stupid smile, but this time it seemed even more stupid than usual. I wonder why then he spoke. “Fuck, man it’s finally over.” I looked at him with a perplexed expression. “We’re finally done fighting these communist scum, we can finally go home.” I turned away then slowly looked back. 

“So it’s really over, after all these years? God have mercy on us all.” He left my tent, as I wept. We can finally go home, what a joke. As I pulled myself together I pulled out a cigarette, I quit but on that day it felt just right to pull it out. I was told cigarettes were bad for me, so I stopped, but something so bad should never feel so good. I needed the release, as I smoked outside I noticed  Bao An Dung’s wife coming up to me. Her clothes were tattered, and she had cuts on her like she had been in combat. I stepped back as she fell on me, drenching my uniform in tears. 

“Help! Help me! He’s going to kill me! my husband, he knows. He knows what we did.” My body stopped, as I looked down at her. It was Hao Bian, and at that moment I remembered her name. Not only her name, but her plump belly, she was having my baby. All that time I thought I was deceiving her. I thought I was leaving her, but I was wrong. I loved her. Maybe I was just fooling myself. I saw the woman of my child stretch around my waist and all I could think about was that I loved her. 

I pulled her from my arms, my mind went into a blur. I didn’t remember much, but I remembered   Bao An Dung laying on the ground, with a bullet to his chest, and in my hands was the murder weapon. Before I could think my comrades tackled me to the ground, placing my face in the mud. I saw Hoa Bian fall to the ground as he cried over Bao An Dung. I also started crying but not for Boa An Dung, But for her. 

After that day I never saw Hao again, I was taken back to America. I was a war criminal. Killing an unarmed man was a war crime, but blowing the head off of a child was war. I was told I would face punishment for the crime I committed. I didn’t pay attention to them, all I could think about was Hao and my child. I had no idea if she wanted to see me or if she even loved me anymore, maybe I loved her. All I knew was that my home was with her and I could never go back. All I wanted was to see her one last time. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was for the way I treated her. I needed her smile. I had to have something to look at. 

 I was the biggest piece of shit ever. I enjoyed killing, taking advantage of women and this was my punishment. I guess we all get ours one way or another. The Vietnam war may have been over, it may have subsided, but the true war has yet to come. I thought I was on the right side, saving the world from the communist. But was I really doing that? Or was I tricked like I tricked myself. I don’t know, but I know one thing if not for the war I would have never met the love of my life. Even if I could not see her I knew I loved her. I just hoped she was doing okay, wherever she was.  

June 16, 2021 23:44

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2 comments

22:31 Jun 23, 2021

This is a gut-wrenching story. The anguish of your character is evident from the beginning. You did a great job eliciting and emotional reaction to your character, as he started talking about his motivations in the war and the way he carried himself you can't help but hate him in some way. This was a perfect set up to his tragic downfall, leaving me to sympathies with a man that I despised moments ago. Great job writing this story, I will need to read more of your stuff.

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Mathic M
03:01 Jun 24, 2021

Thank you. I believe in a gray, mixed in different shades. One person is not all good or all bad, everyone thinks they are the heroes, that they are going to get the girl, beat the bad guy, but sometimes your reality is not true reality. The people who you think should love you maybe they pretend to or you pretend to not see their hate for you. I tried to created the realized character, one that feels like a man, battling the human condition.

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