May 4th, 1914
I had a drop of salty water fall at the corner of my mouth as I came across a yellow envelope in the pile of mail I grasped tightly. The big headline informed me that I would be among the 4,000,000 men to serve in the world war. It read that I was supposed to report to duty by the 15th of June. I fell to my feet as I stared coldly at the ceiling.
May 6th, 1914
The letter lie lifeless in the bottom of the trash can as if it had never existed. I hadn't dare tell anyone about it. I knew what I had to do, seems how my life is now ruined I owe it to my family not to ruin theirs as well. I turned into an actor pretending as if nothing was wrong and I'd never have to leave. I didn't tell my wife about the letter, hoping she wouldn't find it where I left it hidden under the piles of trash.
May 15th, 1914
I've been dreading leaving my family. My wife and my daughter of only 5 years. I became the guy I wanted them to remember. I made them laugh more now than I had before. I tucked Lucy into bed every night now, never skipping a bedtime story. Every second could be one of the last I would have to spend with her. I made sure my wife knew how much I loved her and reminded her everyday. I was running out of time with them, the clock was ticking.
May 20th, 1914
I'm writing this letter because I can't sleep. My headaches won't stop and my wife keeps asking me if something's wrong. I tell her no but she can tell I'm lying, I can tell by the way her eyes look straight into mine as if to go deeper within my soul to find truth. As if that's not killing me enough the monsters inside of my head are going to eat me alive.
May 25th, 1914
It's Lucy's sixth birthday and my wife and I are surprising her with a party. She looks taller to me each day. For her birthday I decided to get he something special. I brought her home a puppy. As soon as she saw the puppy she left her friends running to greet him. She said, "his name shall be Paws." That night she came over to me with the biggest grin I swear she's ever worn and gave me a bear hug. "Thank you," she said.
June 5th, 1914
I'm beginning to pack my belongings to start my journey to Europe in a couple of days. I took a photo of my wife and Lucy off the fireplace mantle and shoved it deep inside my suitcase pocket so that I could remember them forever and always. Who knew how long I would have to participate in this war, it wasn't something that I signed up for.
June 10th, 1914
What was I supposed to tell them? I couldn't tell them I was going to war. I would tell them I was going on a business trip to discover a newly invented fertilizer, no that's an obvious lie. I'd tell them I had to visit my grandma who lived in Europe for a while because she was very sick and they didn't know how much longer she would survive.
June 12th, 1914
I told them the news and they wished me luck and asked if they might come along. I told them it was too personal. They asked that I be careful and return safely. I have never been away from home for more than two weeks to say the least.
June 13th, 1914
I took a plane to Europe, it was deathly silent. Young men, old men staring at the floor. At one stop men were lined up to get on the plane, as we waited for them some of them leaned out of the window to air kiss their wife's farewell. At that moment in time I regretted lying to my wife but, I knew I did it for her own good. I didn't want her worrying about me.
June 14th, 1914
I arrived among the rest of the troops on the border of Europe. The leader/general leading my group of 1000 men spoke loud and clearly, "my name is General John J. Grey, I will be training you throughout the time period of the war until we are needed." He then without speaking walked to a truck. He grabbed a hand gun and showed each of us how it worked. Then he pulled out a larger box of them and handed each one of us our own. We ran 3 miles everyday, had target practices and climbed ropes to strengthen our muscles.
June 14th, 1916
I've now been on these grounds for 2 years waiting to fight for my country (the U.S.). Nothing has changed much. We wake up, eat, train, eat, train again, and go to sleep. We sit here waiting, this is the most boring my life has ever been and I don't understand why they won't let us leave. If nothing's happened yet it's most likely not going to happen. It's been a full 2 years.
December 25th, 1916
It's Christmas, but barely anyone here dares to mention it because the pain of not being able to be home by the fireplace with our families is too strong. I feel depressed like I'm in a black hole trying to dig myself out but I just fall deeper, I'm stuck.
January 8th, 1916
It's a new year. Doesn't quite feel new to me but it is. I can't continue to write, I have nothing to say for now.
March 28th, 1917
The day my life really ended, they had sucked even the last bits of life and hope out of me. I would have had a death wish despite my family. This is the day we entered the war. We declared war on the German empire. Over the last two months an influenza has spread.
May 10th, 1917
I've killed 5 men.
July 15th, 1917
They can't feed all of us, some are starving to death.
August 20th, 1917
I've been shot in the leg. I'm dead on the inside but I'm still alive that's all I prayed for. I have got my leg taken care of at the hospital, and it will be a few days till I go back to fight in the war.
September 14th, 1917
I wrote a letter to my family,
Dear loving family,
I hope to be back as soon as possible, I am doing just fine grandma on the other hand is not too well. I miss you much.
P.S. Never forget about me, Liam
September 20th, 1917
I'm back fighting, I pray every night that the war will end soon. It seems that it's getting quieter and settling down.
November 11th, 1918
The news came. Life restored my bruised, weak body. Victory had been achieved. I knew what this meant. Tears streamed down my face, I got to go home!
December 1st, 1918
I took the first train leaving the station to return home. Fire from excitement warmed the hole in my heart. I couldn't wait to see how much my daughter had grown.
December 2nd, 1917
I arrived home, but as a knocked on the door a man answered the door not my wife. I threw myself to the ground. I looked up to see my wife peering out around the door. She forgot about me. She cheated. I couldn't pull myself together, yet again the fire in my heart was put out and the hole reappeared. Some called me lucky because I survived the war but I can't help thinking now that it'd be less painful if I didn't.
December 30th, 1917
I was walking downtown as I saw the most beautiful women walk past me, she had on a long blue dress, red lipstick, and eyes like the ocean. I got lost staring into them and my coffee fell at my feet along with my books. The women looked at me as she smirked and crouched down to help me. I laughed as she asked "how'd you stumble?" I said, "I got lost in your eyes, they took me to another world. A better one, one full of life like I've never imagined before." She smiled at me and we went our separate ways. I turned around and yelled, "wait miss I didn't catch your name." She smiled and said don't worry I'll see you again, we were meant to be, fate can't keep us separated we're bound to see each other soon.
December 31st, 1917
I went back to my old house where my wife started a new family without me. We worked out a schedule with Lucy and got a divorce. Lucy had grown at least a foot since I had last seen her.
January 10th, 1918
I figured I would need to get a new job to pay for my apartment. I applied at a restaurant down the street. Then I talked with the manager who seemed to like me, a very serious man so I couldn't actually tell. The only reassurance I had was the tone of his voice.
January 23rd, 1918
I got the job as a waiter, the restaurant name was Big Bill's. It was a burger and pasta place. One day as I was wiping down a table I looked up and saw the ocean. Blond hair, bright red lips, and a black dress. It was fate. She works here as a waitress. I slowly walked over to her my eyes never leaving hers. She smiled and said, "fate, am I right?" I asked her, "what's your name?" She said, "tell me first." "My names Liam," I said. In return she said, "Scarlett".
March 8th, 1919
I proposed at a flower garden full of luscious roses and scents too, I had found it deep in the woods when I was just 8 years old. Scarlett was the key that unlocked my the bitterness of my past. She said yes. We set our marriage date to August 15th on the beach of Florida.
August 16th, 1919
I know that it's been a while since I've written but, I am now a happily married on and I have moved on with my life and thrown the past out the window. My heart is not only now on fire but it can never be put out. The life that was once sucked out of me is now back but there's twice as much. I am so thankful to wake up to the ocean every morning.