Piece of paper

The rain sodden road reflected the street lamps, the light bouncing off the hard otherwise black surface. It was pretty, she reflected, or would have been if it was not for the tank that was stationed outside her window.

Looming out of the night, the bulk of the war machine infuriated her, as did her brother’s desire to join the troops in the war. But then again, if it was not for him going to the Front, she would not have her independence. Being a woman before the war had been restrictive, but now, without the men around, she was having far more fun.

But the cost had been great. The women folk of the township had their independence, but they had lost all the same. Her hands fidgetted with a piece of paper.

Her mind roved her past, coming up with bizaar memories. It rested on one in particular… the last time she had seen Chad before he had left for the war.

It had been a weekend retreat that they had disappeared off on. Mother was not to know. Mother did not approve of Chad going to fight. So sister and brother had hired a cabin close to the lake just outside their home town. It was their final time together before Chad was going away; for how long no one knew.

Hot words had been flung at him.

“FOOL!” she had hurled at Chad.

His face had clouded with anger and hurt that night. “I’m not a fool, Tracey. I’m not. I just want to join my friends on their adventure.”

“It’s not an adventure, Chad. It’s death and disaster and all that’s bad.”

Then, his anger had melted and he had cried, silent tears running down his cheeks.

“I thought of all people, you would understand, sister.”

And he had not talked to her since.

The piece of paper fluttered to the ground. It was now her face that ran with tears, as she felt a gnawing pain. She was right, had always been right, but now it was a cold comfort. The piece of paper was final proof she was right, for it was a telgram. Chad was dead.