Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Old Wounds

Old Wounds









The vast beauty of the Alps spreads out like a massive panorama around me. My mind however is unable to admire it. I‘m still questioning whether what I’m about to do is a good idea or not. Whether it will help or hurt. I told Denise to wait for me back at the inn. She may have somehow managed to convince me to let her tag along this far but I have to do this myself. This is not an incredibly fun two-week voyage across the Atlantic in a freighter. This is different. This is personal.


I walk through the crowded spaces around the monastery. Around me dozens of the children and orphans of refugees play about in the hay. Many of them growing quite thin because of food shortages caused by the war. To my right is a fairly modern looking clinic compared to the rest of the place, which has to be at least a couple hundred years old. To my left I see my mother and younger brother. Both of which I haven’t seen nor heard from in over two years. My mother is wearing tight looking navy blue pants and a light blue long sleeve dress shirt that is very wrinkled and appears to be several sizes to big. On her shoulders were two dark blue bars each with a white star on them. My brother on the other hand was wearing a jean jacket, a brown shirt, and dark colored pants. His hair was even longer than it was last time I saw him.


My mind flashes back to the terrible fight the night before they left. The words I now regret saying. I was stupid, arrogant and naïve. I retreated to my room like an angry child, except this time when my parents said they wouldn’t be there in the morning they weren’t lying. The reality of my situation dawned on me then. I would have to go back to school but this time have nothing to return to and only myself to rely on.


As I started walking toward them I see what captured their attention. A small display with a world map on it with LED’s highlighting current war zones. I know full well that my father is at one of them serving on some super carrier that I can’t remember the name of. My mother had been deployed to a hospital ship last I checked but the fact that her uniform had changed meant times had as well. Both of my parents had been drafted despite their relative ages’. The military situation was beginning to become rather desperate so they were really taking anyone who could hold a rifle and shoot straight. My brother was only a few years from being applicable and I practically needed straight A’s to avoid being drafted myself and even that might not save me forever. I gather my scattered thoughts and approach my family.


“Hi mom.” I say nervously, the words feeling rusty and unused on my tongue. She turns around to look at me, the frown on her face only deepening, clearly not happy to see me. She asked me what I was doing here and I told her besides seeing the incredible view I was looking for them. “Why?” she asked accusingly. “I’m sorry.” I answered. “I didn’t mean what I said. I was angry and confused. You of all people should be able to understand that.” The apology felt good, like I was lifting a hundred lead weights off my shoulders. She looked at the ground and smiled slightly, I’m sure for the first time in awhile.


“I forgive you.” She said with a moment’s hesitation “This time.” I hugged both her and my brother and told them I had to go soon. My mother told me she would try and get in contact with me once I returned to the states. I had no desire to leave them but it was only a few hours before nightfall but I had no desire to be stuck halfway down a mountain all night either. So I said my final good byes and started on my way back to the inn.


When I got back to the inn several hours later Denise was there, reading a book on some language that I still don’t understand. She welcomed me with a warm embrace that was quite the opposite of the icy mountain air. “How did it go?” She asked me in her soft voice. “Much, much better than I expected.” I answered sliding a weathered brass key into the lock. “Pack your things, we have another long trip ahead of us.” She nodded, gave me quick kiss on the cheek and then started putting her few possessions into her backpack. I lay down on the bed staring at the wall and watching the fading orange sunlight reflect off the peeling paint. I should be feeling happy right now but all I wonder is if the only thing I accomplished today was reopening old wounds.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback