We're in the middle of war. Some things just can't be avoided. But remember one thing. The lives of our loved ones will always reside within our hearts.


1. Appleseed

A small appleseed, hoping happily to grow up from the ground and become a beautiful tree with bright red apples. That’s how I imagined it when me and my friend planted it.

5 years have gone since then, and it was about time for the first apples to grow. Time was rough, and I ended up being forced into the military to earn money. My friend was probably still watering the tree everyday, hoping for me to come back safely.

I looked out of the window. But still, to be sent to the battlefield within the first week sure was tough luck. My friend had called me few times every day to check on me, and he was heartbroken when I told him that I was going to the battlefield. My parents had promised me to take good care of my friend since his family died, and I was probably the only one who he actually considered family. Battlefields had gotten a lot more deadly over the past 10 years. I hoped that I would survive and live happily with my friends and family, but I knew that it would be impossible. Only 3 out of 10.000 usually survived from our country when sent to battle. The government were desperate, so all the soldiers didn’t even get to train or to learn anything about weapons before they got sent out. Just like me. I didn’t know anything about weapons at all, and yet, here I am, sitting with a rifle in my hand. I felt the helicopter land and the doors opened. I felt a little more at ease, knowing that I was positioned in the rear. I sighed. I felt calm, knowing that I wouldn’t have hopeless hope.


It had been two weeks since my best friend entered the battlefield. Usually, the soldiers would stay there for a month. Since he began participating in the war, there had been no contact from him. I knew he would survive. I believed in him. I knew nothing about war, but I knew that the rear, where he was, was a lot more safe than the front lines. I had already planned a welcome back party for him. His family were helping me as well, but for some reason, they didn’t look as happy. Maybe they were expecting the worst? I felt my stomach twist as soon as I thought about it, so I directed my thought to somewhere else. I went outside to tend to the apple tree. It was taller than me now, and it was time for the flowers to bloom for the first time.

But they never did. Another month went by, and as soon as we saw the soldiers heading towards our house, my friend’s family members began to cry loudly. I didn’t know what was going on, and I almost assumed that It was a burglary. But as soon as I heard the news, I felt something inside me crack. I felt my heart get stabbed multiple times, and the pain just became worse by the second. I didn’t want to believe it. Maybe they made a mistake? Maybe this was the wrong house. I almost got up to ask them, but his mother tugged in my shirt pulling me back. As I saw her face, I felt my heart crumble even more. They knew this was going to happen. They knew it from the beginning. They knew ever since the soldiers showed up for the first time to get him. I felt the tears running down my face. Nothing I did could stop it now.


It has been three years since my best friend died. Or as I call him now, my dear older brother. I was still watering the tree, but not a single flower had bloomed yet. I felt pitiful for the apple seed that was planted in vain. Under the tree, My brother laid buried. The soldiers had not managed to bring his body back, but they did manage to retrieve his pocket watch. It was the pocket watch I gave him for his 15 years birthday. My first present for him. And my last. As I went back, I stumbled upon something hard. I looked down. A square box was sticking out of the ground a little bit. Something inside me lit. I began digging the box out. First slowly and gently, but it ended up pretty desperate. It was a small wooden box. I opened it, and found a matching pocket watch and a couple of notes. I began crying again, as I’ve done every day for the past three years. I picked up the note where my name was written with my brother’s writing.


Yo, Tim!

Happy birthday. Please accept this pocket watch as a gift.

I’m probably dead when you find this, or it might not even be you who finds it. Maybe it will never get found. But if it’s you, I want you to listen.

I knew this was gonna happen. I signed up for it. Don’t hate me, but we really needed the money, otherwise the government would have sold our house to someone else. So listen up.


I don’t know how you feel about my parents and my sister, but I want you to think of them as your own family, since I never got to show them how much I love them. I don’t know how the apple tree is doing, but even if it’s dead, I want you to look over it, and make sure it will stay there until you die. I don’t know if you even remember me at this point, but I want you to carry this watch around forever and I want you to carry me inside your heart. I don’t know if you’re still alive, but I want you to live for both of us. So thank you. Thank you for being there for me, when times were hard. Thank you for worrying about me whenever I was hurt. Thank you, for giving me a great gift that I was unable to use for too long. Thank you for being my friend and my younger brother. Thank you for mourning over me after I’ve died.


I love you.

- Jonah


I was stunned. I read it over and over again, until I was able to memorize it all in my head. Once, again, tears streamed down my face. Unable to stop, I gave in to the sorrow.

After hours of crying, I went home to my family, and gave them each their notes. After reading them over and over again, we all sat together, mourning over my brother once again. But from that day on, we began living our normal healthy lives again, more lively than ever, treasuring our dear lives, and living for my brother’s sake. That year, the flowers bloomed and bright red apples appeared for the first time.  


The lives of our loved ones will always reside within our hearts. 

Even after they die.


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