It’s so nice to finally hear from you, even if is in my darkest moments. Your letter truly brought me joy in these dreary times. I miss you more and more every day. All the memories and laughter I’ve shared with you is only a reminder that this war has only brought pain and has only torn us further and further apart.
I don’t know what is like across no man’s land, but I believe we’re going through the same awful traumatizing things. Such as the constant rainfall of bullets pelleting down almost continuously. Our bullets and thoughts are drowned out by the antagonizing screams from the fallen soldiers’ whether it be ours or the enemy’s troops, I can’t help but feel terrible. We are blessed with silence every now and again but even then, the silence rings through our ears as a constant reminder of who we’ve lost along the way.
During the nights I can’t help but imagine what my bed at home feels like; the soft comfy covers and fluffy pillows are now like a luxury and huge contrast to the mucky disgusting dirt.
Our innocence has been taken from all of us. We were happy once happy to be blessed with life, happy to have food on the table, and happy to join the war, but I fear we might never be happy again. Everything you were completely changed the moment you see a fellow soldier die beside you or take the life of another man who you know nothing about. This man’s life I’ve taken could ruin hundreds more back home. I saw the life drain from his eyes, his last thoughts were probably about his family who awaits his letter but shall never receive it.
The medical rooms aren’t much better than the trenches, we aren’t lying on the ground but the nauseating scent of rotting flesh and blood causes anyone a headache instantly. The makeshift hospital built of hefty fabrics, reeks of the harsh lingering smell of blood and sweat. Almost fitting since its a dreadful atmosphere surrounding a dreadful sight. The cots are nice though, not as nice as home nor as cozy, but a huge upgrade from sleeping beside rats in the trenches.
Signing up for this war was only signing away my youth, my innocence, and my happiness. Men are falling like leaves in autumn, the gas attacks are causing troops to burn from the inside, and the constant firework-like gunshots are so normalized now you hardly even notice anymore. We pretend we’re doing our country proud, but they couldn’t care less. They say the country will forever be in out dept but its all lies the country will see the leaders as the heroes while we idly stand by the wait for praise for our hard work. Men are losing their lives and our leaders have the nerve to say, “it is honourable to die for your country”.
The dead shall never rest until this war is finally over. It seems as though it is never-ending. Most will never forget the suffering that took place here, after this war, the fear-stricken faces changing only while deep in slumber. I’ve seen children sign up to be here. They believe they did the right thing but they could never be more wrong, I could only imagine the pain and trauma their mothers must be going through, and god forbid they ever receive what everyone is most terrified of: the pink telegram.
As I lie on this sweat-soaked bed I truly ponder if death is as scary as it sounds. My eyes keep drooping down as if its an invite from god to finally know peace. I might as well take the invitation. I use to fear death but know it seems almost a warm embrace like a blanket shielding me from all the terror that this war put me through. I won’t have to go through the trauma or pain, for me that part is over.
Your friend, Emmerich