Yellow Fields

It's 1918. World War One is coming up to four years; and seems like it will never end...

Private Colin Brood is a twenty-one year old army soldier who has somehow made it through the many brutal years alive. Yet when a horrible turn of events happens and Colin is left injured; his friend even worse, will he have the courage of a General to save his friend's life?

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9. The Note

When I woke the sun had disappeared from the sky behind a sheet icy cold cloud; and the hospital ward had been flooded with darkness. As I opened my eyes, I could only see the mere outline of the few nurses attending the bedsides of the many new patients who was in the same boat as Alan and I were, drifting on that neverending ocean never to return to normality.

 

I still felt immense grief and ashamed that I had spoken to Alan like that- who was I to dictate his life? But one thing was certain- I wouldn't allow him to sit in that bed all day everyday and not do anything; however stubborn he may be. I rolled over, my joints and limbs and whole body aching as I did so; onto my left side so I was facing Alan's bed. He looked so precious- just like a newborn cradled in his Mother's arms. I smiled affectionatley, wishing with every feeling in my body that he would accept my greatest apology; and allow me to assist him until... it happened. I thought a couple of times to wake him now- but he was in a deep sleep and I didn't want to anger him more if I woke him. Instead, I shifted to my water cup- leaning over to my bedside table to reach it. I grabbed it gently and took a huge gulp of yesterday's tap water, placing it down in its place and sighing deeply. But what was that? Something had caught my eye. I peered over to my table again, and a white piece of paper had been folded and placed next to my glass; with the word "Colin" etched neatly and delicately into its skin. What was that? I reached out and picked it up, puzzled thoughts urging me slightly to unfold the neatly folded parchment. I started to pick up the pace, wrenching it open and inspecting the first line: Dear Friend. Oh no... I recgonised this writing- it was Alan's. My eyes darted to the next line, and the next, and the next, carefully scribed in his neat hand.

This was one of the most easiest decisions I have ever had to make- yet it seems so hard to tell you. I figured writing it down would make it easier for the two of us- no more upset or arguing. If I say that I won't miss you, I'd be wrong. You're the only person who has ever been there for me; and in respect, knows everything about me. I know you'll understand.

I knew that I was dying- there was no hiding that. I saw it when the nurses came to care for me, I saw it in your eyes. But I knew that if I had left it till later I'd learn to loathe my life even more, and I didn't want to part with the last memory of me sitting here and hating everything around me... including you. But I didn't necessarily want to leave on bad terms with you either- that is the purpose of this scratchy note: I apologise now for the make-shift paper- (it's the only one I could find in this damned place.)

As you read this now, don't think that it was you that made me want to do this. Don't think that your words had influenced me in anyway; only I could decide something so big and painful to anyone close. And certaintly don't think that I could leave our precious memories behind without a second care- that was the hardest part of this; that and leaving you.

Do you remember how we used to charge through the corn fields, our model aeroplanes soaring high above our heads? Do you remember how we used to race into the kitchen and wolf down a portion of your Mother's pie; beofre immedietely spriting back out into the wonderful wilderness? I miss those memories; even now as I'm sat here, watching your perfect sleep... but I haven't had a perfect sleep since this War started.

But one of the things that I didn't want you to think was that I was being selfish. I'm not a selfish man, Colin- and you know that. I decided to do this because... well I had found out way into the War that I had an ever-growing case of Lung Cancer- (my blasted pipe!) I knew that if I kept on living it wouldn't only be my new injuries keeping me down. I guess the only reason I kept on going and keeping it a sercet was for your benefit. I didn't want you to feel down in the dumps, especially when both our lives were on the line. I knew how important it was to make sure you were ok, that I protected you on the field- but I guess I kind of let you down on that day- I'm so sorry.  I bet you're thinking I'm a bit of a Dark Horse now- aren't you?

I just hope, that once I'm gone, you undertsand why I've made this choice. It was impossible for you to care for me like you kindly offered too, as I would simply become too weak to even eat properly. I'm just glad you know the real reasons why this has been my decision.

You have always been my greatest friend, Colin; and I'm afraid that I haven't told you how much you mean to me. But I guess with a friendship like ours, we wouldn't need to. Yet discluding how woman-like we would be if we did speak our deepest thoughts about each other- I want to say you've always been like a Brother to me... and always will be. Just promise me one thing- that you won't hate yourself for the rest of your life, believing that you had done this to me. I feel the happpiest I've ever felt in a long time.

 

So, goodbye, my dear friend- and try not to cry; Celia won't think much of you. And for Goodness Sake boy, marry her- or I'll haunt you for the rest of your life. You know I always keep my promises.

With deepest friendship,

                                          Alan.

I flicked the note over and over again, searching for anymore text- but there was nothing. Tears had started to stream down my cheeks, and my nose had become blocked with what seemed like an imaginary wall. I felt devastated. I felt lost.  But they were tears of happiness. I knew Alan would be happy now- I guess it was our friendship which had made me suss what he was talking about. I peered over to his bed, a watery grin on my face. I had thought that I had been under pressure- the constant problems from the troops flying in on a daily basis. But in reality, my problems were nothing compared to what Alan had done so well to hide. The fool. I started laughing, my stomach plunging with each heave I took. Then my laughter started to turn into fits of extreme belly laughs. I had never thought so highly of someone before. Yes, he had passed on his own accord- but he was still the happiest person I knew.

I turned to his bed, smiling still, "God Bless you, Alan."

 

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