Stay tuned (patiently) as we occasionally throw updates on here about what steps we're taking to get to our end goals, DIY tricks and life-hacks, child-rearing tactics (strategery), etc.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

PROPHECY: Coming Home

We were hunkered down, hiding behind a big sandstone, my friend, his fellow-soldier, and me. The enemies were firing on us, and here we were in the sweltering heat, with no backup and no way to call for any.

A bullet came and struck the other soldier.  He slowly reached up, and put his hand to his temple. He looked at the blood where the bullet had struck him, and then he started muttering something as he laid down, looking like he was getting ready to have a nap.  I knew the result would be more tragically permanent.

I looked up, and my friend had finally managed to get a call out to help.  I looked past him, out in the vast mountain desert valley, and I saw a huge airship, reminiscent of the helicarrier from The Avengers losing altitude fast... so very fast.

I looked towards the west, where the hills were obscuring the setting sun, and decided to run.  I didn't want to be where that airship was heading.  I sprinted faster than I knew I could toward an old soccer stadium.  In the desert, with the signs of war surrounding everything, this derelict stadium was an odd beacon of safety from that monstrosity and whatever it was carrying.  I ran across the field and jumped into the bleachers, with barely enough time to see the bow of the ship smash the foxhole where I was calmly trusting my friend to get the word out that we were under attach, that help was on the way.

Darkness had set in, and with it, the horrifying realization that the enemy had a headquarters nearby, with lights, gunfire, talking, and laughing coming from one of the recesses into what was left of the stadium's inside infrastructure.  I cautiously began to look for an escape, but when I poked my head above the bleachers, I noticed that the enemy had sent out a search party.  Apparently, they knew I was there.

I slowly crawled to one of the stairways leading to the exit and the field.  Once I got there, one of the search party guys started coming up the stairs, flashlight and machine gun in hand.  I knew I was screwed.  Before the light found me, another man started yelling at him.  I couldn't understand what they were arguing about, but seconds later, the first man turned and went back towards camp.  I exhaled, but only in time to realize the second man was spotting me himself.

Knowing for sure I was busted, I did the first logical thing I could think of to ensure my survival:  I ditched my wallet (my I.D.), which could dispute my lie that I was, in fact, Canadian and not American.

The man escorted me back to their camp, where I got to know them all.  They were very intelligent, persecuted, and kind people, and I had a sense that they were protecting their home from invaders, regretting every time they pulled the needlessly violent triggers.  They all spoke English fluently, and we walked philosophy, family, honor, regret, all of that.

I stayed with them a few days, and one of them, a man I had gotten to be kindred spirits with for whatever reason, had offered to take me "home" to Canada.  (I still hadn't gotten up the courage to tell them the truth.)

The next thing I remember, we're at a small airport, somewhere in North America, but I can't remember where.  I just remember walking around, being trusted with that privilege as we were good friends at this point.  We sat down, this new friend of mine and I, and had a meal together.  I remember talking to a mother and her little girl, showing here places on a large map of the world plastered on a wall.  Then I excused myself from everyone.  I told them I had to use the restroom, but I knew that this was going to be the only chance I got to guarantee seeing my son again.  When I got of sight, I quickly hustled for the security line in the small terminal.  For whatever reason, there were glass dividers around a tiny, make-shift United States embassy.  I ran in, fully expecting to be tackled by the Marine security guards at the door way.  I was tackled, all the while screaming "I'm American!  I need help!  I'm home!  I'm safe!  I'm American!  I live in Alaska!"

I could feel myself smiling, although the celebration turned bittersweet as I looked up, and there, on the other side of the glass divider, my new friend stood looking at me.  I could see the hurt on his face.  He had risked so much to bring me here, only to have me run away and expose my lie in as indirect a fashion as possible.  And I grieved for him.  He held up a piece of paper, an itinerary that he and I had worked out together for this trip, and the look on his face was one that burns itself into your memory for lifetimes.

As the authorities started asking me questions about who I was, where I came from, where I lived, how I wound up here, I looked up to see where my new friend was.  I couldn't find him anywhere.  He had obviously left, and I hoped that he would smuggle himself back to his own home safely.  Suddenly the guilt had washed over me.  If I had been honest, I probably could have helped him.  I could have gotten him home safely or helped him bring his family here.  But I lied to protect myself.  I selfishly chose to be with my son, even though what's been happening to this man and his family and community and country was far more evil than an American son potentially losing a father.

After this flood of thoughts, my gaze fell upon the carpet there in the airport terminal.  The last thing I remember seeing was a crumpled up piece of paper.  I don't know if I imagined it, as I doubt my vision was that good, but it looked as if the ink had started running in a few places, as if drops of water had landed on it.

Drops of water or tears.