Hi lovely readers! Welcome to Love is Revival! :) To those of you who have read Love is Protection, I must thank you all again. After reading your comments at the end of that story and all the amazing motivation you guys left me, this one just kind of flowed right after. You guys are such awesome readers so this story goes out to all of you in thanks! This is also dedicated to all those who serve us. Who go into battle and sacrifice so much for the freedoms we get to enjoy back here at home. And to the families of those who fight. Their sacrifices cannot be overlooked and I thank them all for their service.
Let's embark on this journey with a broken soldier, Elijah Goldsworthy, and the patient journalist, Clare Edwards, who may become the one thing able to revive him from the scars of war. Okay my dears, here is Love is Revival! Please enjoy! :)
Eventually you realize it has become a part of you.
The humid scent of the desert winds engraves itself into your senses.
The sight of limbs that have been agonizingly placed in unnatural positions becomes the new normal.
You become desensitized to another's pain.
You no longer feel remorse.
It is simply your duty.
You know how strenuous it is to have the heavy load of your military backpack weigh you down everywhere you go. But you don't mind it. Everything in your pack is essential to your survival.
You know what it feels like to have the bullet of an AK-47 miss your head by mere centimeters when an unforeseen attack comes your way.
You know what the voices of the wounded and dying sound like in their desperate pleas for help.
You know how the faces of even the strongest men break down with an uncontrollable flow of tears. And you don't judge them as some men would judge others back home. Because you yourself are mere inches away from stepping over the fragile line between insanity and reality. You simply walk away and allow them their moment of emotion.
What we do is not easy. It is the toughest task known to man. We spend every second in fear that it may be our last.
And with each second that goes by, we begin to forget of the now seemingly foreign life back home. Those we left to come to battle are merely blurry images in our minds. And the more our minds are polluted with the sight of war, the less we can hold on to the few images that keep us rooted and sane.
So some of us begin to stop fearing that every second may be our last. Instead, we begin to embrace it. We begin to embrace anything that can stop ourselves from losing sight of the life we left.
I open my eyes as our vehicle comes into contact with a pothole and I am jerked away from my thoughts. I turn my head and survey the men sitting around me. The men of the 1st Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment. I've been with this same handful of guys for about two years now. One year while we were stationed and training in the Petawawa base and one year in combat.
I turn my head to my right and watch as Dave reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small, worn photo.
"You know you look at that every time we go into battle, right?" I tease him.
He continues to stare at the photo of his new fiance back home. "Yeah, yeah. Joke all you want. But man, Alli's the one thing keeping me safe. If I didn't have her to return to, I wouldn't be fighting so hard."
I want to give him a teasing comeback, but I can't. Only because I wish I had what Dave never ceases to boast about. A loved one to return to. Granted, I have Bullfrog and Cece, also known as Dad and Mom. And of course there's Adam and my other handful of friends. But ever since losing her, I haven't even tried to find another connection like the one Dave has with Alli.
I shake my head to my thoughts. Julia's death was my fault. It's not fair if I move on with someone else while she remains nothing but a corpse. Sometimes I feel like being in this battlefield is simply a way of punishing myself for it.
I cringe at how dark my thoughts have turned.
"You ready for this?" I ask him as our convoy slows down in the middle of an Iraqi town where we're told some insurgents have made base.
Dave reaches his hand out and I immediately join him in a handshake we've come up with over the years. As we snap our fingers, he speaks up our usual routine. "I'll watch your back, bro."
"Like it's my own," I finish for him.
This exchange between Dave and I has almost become a part of the battles we fight. It may be superstitious, but in our twisted minds, it's just another thing we can hold onto to keep us safe. You tend to cling to whatever you can out here.
I follow the rest of our men out of the vehicle and onto the dusty street. A few children stand and watch as we all scan the surrounding areas.
I listen for our orders. "Dave, Eli. You get the building to the South," I hear our Captain call out to us.
We both nod in confirmation before I take a few steps forward and raise up my gun.
"I'm right behind you," I hear Dave's voice as we continue towards the alleyway beside the building.
I take a deep breath before turning my body and fully facing the alley. My eyes dart around and I scan for any sudden movements. Anything out of the ordinary.
"I think it's cl –"
Before I even have the chance to finish, the loud and familiar noise of gunshots rings in the air. My body reacts before my mind has a chance to catch up.
I shift towards my right where the sound came from and catch sight of the bastard out of the second story window of the building.
That's when I pull my trigger.
My finger rests in position as shot after shot is fired. The deafening sounds they make immerse themselves into my senses.
I stop my attack only after I am sure multiple bullets hit my target.
I immediately turn around towards Dave and my eyes widen at the sight.
"Dave!" I yell as I run over to where he has fallen.
I drop my gun as I kneel next to him and pry his uniform open.
Two wounds. One in his right forearm. The other on his right side near his waist.
"I need a medic!" I yell out towards the street.
I hear Dave cough slightly. "T-tell me you got the bastard."
I apply pressure to his wounds to stop the bleeding. "The asshole won't see daylight again."
I hear Dave attempt a laugh but it comes out as a cough. "Good."
His eyes begin to drift closed. "No, no. Dave. Focus. I need a medic!" I yell again. "Keep your eyes open."
I look up as our convoy's medic makes his way over to me along with a few soldiers.
"Think of Alli," I tell Dave knowing full well he'll fight through hell and back for that girl.
And just as the medic arrives on the scene, I feel a pain in my upper right arm.
It shocks me to the point of numbness before the agonizing pain begins to slowly reach my senses.
My left hand automatically reaches for my gun as I turn around with a new surge of adrenaline in my system. Luckily, I don't have to fire as more members of our group converge on the scene and fight the battle for me.
"I need you to help me get him out of here!" I hear the medic's loud shout over the noise of gunfire.
I nod my head in response before lifting Dave up and dragging him out with his left arm across my shoulder and the medic carefully grasping his injured arm.
As we reach the vehicle, I drop Dave into the open trunk before letting out a sound in pain. I glance down at my arm.
That's the first time I've ever been hit in combat. And the pain. The pain is excruciating.
"Let me look at that," I vaguely hear the medic's voice.
I shake my head. "Focus on him."
Seeing as how Dave's wounds are much worse than mine, he readily agrees to my request. I glance down at my now bloody arm and apply pressure to the wound before sliding down the side of the vehicle.
I close my eyes as the pain threatens to consume my body.
Is this what it felt like for you Julia?
My body sweats profusely in response as my breathing becomes rapid. I feel a dizziness rush over me as the pain from my arm intermingles with my body's exhaustion in the heat.
The last thing I remember is Dave's piercing screams before all went black.
That concludes Chapter 1! This is more of a prologue type chapter. Believe me, the plot will definitely pick up in pace in the next few chapters. You never know, a certain blue eyed sweetheart may make an appearance in Chapter 2. :) Please feel free to leave me your thoughts. They truly bring a smile to my face whenever I read them. Until next time, bye my loves! :)