Moments of Courage

March 16, 2018
By RyanXie GOLD, Waxhaw, North Carolina
RyanXie GOLD, Waxhaw, North Carolina
13 articles 2 photos 0 comments

     A soldier takes cover behind a mound of sand, sweat trickling down his camouflage uniform as he pants repeatedly, the pops of gunfire flying across the Afghan land; he refills his ammunition and sighs, imagining his wife and son and nation before turning around to face the volley of bullets — this could be his last moment if he wasn’t careful, but this is the courage his country needs; while, half way across the world, in the suburbs of Chicago, a boy clings on to his mother’s jeans, his miniature Pokémon backpack hanging from his mother’s hand, and a “Have a wonderful day! Love, Mommy” note sticks to the side of his paper lunch bag; he trembles as he stares at his mother, both inches away from the entrance of the kindergarten classroom, but his mother tousles his bright ginger hair and smiles, and he begins to walk forward.
     Five blocks to the north, a college sophomore shifts his weight from foot to foot in the silence of the auditorium as he stares at his notes in front of him, all eyes looking at his shaking body; his lips remain sealed as he fumbles with the paper, trying to find the bravery to open his mouth and begin his presentation — he fights the urge to stay quiet and starts speaking; at precisely the same moment, 100 miles away, two teenage girls sit face to face across the burgundy desk in the principal’s office, an ominous stillness lingering between them; the one on the left crosses her arms, looking out of the window, and the one on the right breathes in and out, and in and out; she swallows and looks into the eyes of her once-friend, knowing she would have to say something to get her back — “I’m sorry,” she says.


The author's comments:

Inspired by the chapter "The Simultaneity of Instants" by Anthony Doerr in "All the Light We Cannot See"


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