We were having a tryst about the upcoming war; everyone was scared that they may never see their families again. As we were about to deploy, I had gotten a hallmark letter from another service man. I opened to see an exquisite picture of my wife and daughter, It had looked they had been crying before they took the picture. I took it close to my heart, and prayed to see my family again. After I prayed, I put the picture in a pocket that was close to my heart, wishing that it would bring me good luck. When we landed, I could see people skedaddle in the street. I became as stark as can be when I saw all the children screaming and crying. I walked through the empty building to see if there were any children or women that didn’t know where to go or were stuck in the buildings. After a while I found a little boy, about four years old, curled up in a corner crying. He said that he must have been sleeping when his family left. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. So I took him to the building in the back of the town where barley any fighting took place, and I told him to hide in the closet. He looked a little confused, so I told him that if he hid there he would be safe, and that I would bring him food, water and check up on him to see if he was okay. He agreed to hide in the closet. He could hear the grenades right outside his window. I know he was scared, but when I looked into his eyes I knew he acknowledged me of my daughter at home and how much she needs me. I turned around and walked away from the little boy to go fight in the war. As I walked away I could feel the tears running down my face. I felt people lurking all around me. I took out the picture again. I felt a tear run down my face as I watched it fall onto the picture. I tried to wipe it away but all it did was smudge. I put the picture away and kept walking, and I was someone get lambasted, it was horrible. I was thinking about just leaving and going back to my home. I was headed to my rest place when I saw a very outlandish man sitting in a chair outside his house. I don’t think he knew what was going on. He kind of just sat there and watched everybody fight, as if it were a movie. I told him that he should probably go inside his house. He said that this was where his wife had passed away at this very time, so he sits there every day at the same exact time. I told him that I was sorry for his loss, and kept moving along. As I was going to my rest place I remembered that the little boy was at the house in the closet waiting for me to bring him some food. I stopped at my rest place, got a can of food, and started my way to the house where the little boy waits for me. About fifteen minutes later I reached the house. I walked in and went to the closet. That’s when I realized that the boy wasn’t there anymore. I was going to yell his name, but that’s when I remembered that he never told me his name. I just started yelling little boy and started running throughout the house. I was terrified. He walked out of the bathroom and I just ran and hugged him. I thought that people had come in here and took him. He reminds me of my daughter. He asked me why I was scared, and I told him that I thought he had been killed. I also told him that I was going home and that I was taking him with me. He said that he was scared. I told him that he would be so much safer there, and that he would get three daily meals. It was a very long walk, and I could tell that the little boy was getting tired. We had already walked about 70 miles. It was about three in the morning. I found a tree and we both lied under it and fell asleep. I woke up at about seven- thirty, and woke him up and told him it was time to go. When I woke him up I also asked him what his name was. He told me that his name is Xander. It was a very hot day out. It only took us about five hours to get to my house. My wife, Emily, looked very surprised to see me. She dropped the clothes that she was washing and ran to me and started to hug me. I could see how happy she was to see me. She asked me why I was back so early. I told her that I couldn’t stand being away from her and my daughter, Allison. She ran to the back room and got Allison. When she saw me she started smiling, laughing, and yelling daddy. I saw so happy to see her. When they were done saying hi to me Emily asked who the little boy was. I told her that I found him in a abandoned house, and that we were going to keep him. I also told her that he reminded me a lot of my daughter. I told her that his name is Xander. We all went to the kitchen and started eating. After we were done eating we all took turns taking showers and getting cleaned up. We have always had an extra bed in the back, and that was where Xander was going to sleep. I had a hard time sleeping. I kept wondering if they knew that I was gone and not at war anymore. If they came to my house I would just hide and have my wife say I wasn’t here. She is a pretty good actor. She would never expose me if I was hiding. I knew that it would be hard here without me. Nobody knew how to hunt. They wouldn’t have any food. I couldn’t have them starve. They were all happy for me to be home and be safe. I also think that Xander was getting along pretty good with my family. This was going to be a great new start.
The Diary of Dave Berry
September 20, 2012