Across countries and in between a war, their eyes had caught each other,
Both were gun wielding soldiers, separated by lines that people called a border.
I first saw his face, in between all the mud and the noise of bullets whizzing by. He had brown eyes, nothing out of the ordinary. His bullet pierced my friend. But, when our eyes met, for a moment, it didn’t matter if a bullet passed through me. In hindsight, I knew why it didn’t. Because what was going to kill me was much more powerful than a silly bullet.
The attack was so sudden that we had no time to retaliate. We ran out with our guns. My bullet had found its mark. By the look on his face, I think I hit someone he was close to. In that instant our eyes met and if it hadn’t been for a fellow soldier, a bullet would’ve made sure I went home wrapped in my national flag.
But his face… his face.
The trials and tribulations were going to last,
There was no escape from it, the spell of love was cast
The peace talks were working, I guess. There hadn’t been any firing for sometime. Sometimes when things are calm, we happen to see soldiers on the other side, being themselves and not fighters. My friend survived, but I couldn’t forget those brown eyes. So when I spotted him with a little puppy, I knew it was going to be my downfall. After what seemed like a while, he raised his head and we stayed like that for a long time.
We’re always having puppies and goats stray near our tents from time to time. They stay away during the firing, but since it was a calm week, a tiny puppy decided to pay me a visit. He reminded me of my dog at home. I sensed that I was being watched and as I looked up, I found him there. We stood staring at each other. Technically, he stood, I was still sitting on the chair as the tiny puppy playfully bit my fingers.
For months they stayed like that… just stealing a glance,
In their mind they had progressed, but in reality they didn’t really advance.
This war had ended and it was time to go home for now. We never had a chance to talk, and you’d think it’s stupid, but I was in love with him. Yes, I knew nothing about him. Not his name, his favourite colour, the city he came from, the story behind the scar on his face… but it didn’t matter. I felt the prick of being separated by a line. I wonder what happened to that brown puppy.
We never had a chance to meet, but we did see each other over the weeks. As shallow as it seems, I was in love with him. I was dying to know more about him, but I knew this was good-bye. The little brown puppy was gone as well… he was adopted by a family in a nearby village. And just like that… everything that I thought was beginning to make sense was taken away.
After the war had ended, I had gone searching for him, his name was beautiful, but I shall not reveal it. Neither will I reveal how I reached his city. He was long gone… within weeks of the war ending. I found his sister, she must have been 15. When I asked her about him, she knew I wasn’t from her country. But instead of worrying, she asked me to wait. She was back in 10 minutes, with a handful of papers.
Letters that were addressed to an unknown soldier, across the border, letters from him. I was to find out much later that he shot himself with his rifle… PTSD they believed. No one knew our secret, except his sister, her eyes… as brown as his.
I walked away… letters in hand.
Fighting against another enemy wasn’t difficult now,
If anything was tough, it was the war against life and the war against love.