The war is ended, we have won. I don't think any of us were expecting it after Canada was destroyed, and New York City. But we have, we have won, at the greatest price ever: 5 million American soilders dead. 30 million Iraqi soilders. 60 million Iraqi civilians. 267 thousand Americans dead... and the person I write about... He was just a statistic to most people. another number to add up to the charts. But he was so much more...

I remeber the day it happened. One of the tricky sunny winter days that make you think you don't need a coat. Still, the sunshine was nice, so was the morning. I woke up on time, got to school on time, DIDN"T have to play at Orcestra! Everything was normal for the day after the concert. Sure, in my deepest chamber of my mind, I knew that my brother was in Iraq or Iran, he really couldn't tell us, fighting to get to Saddam. It had been almost twelve months since he had been drafted, hadn't gotten hurt yet. Still, its that nagging at the back of your head, even when everything is so normal, its realizing that we are at war.

I keep up charades well. When my mom was in the hospital for 3 months, I never shed a tear, I'm not really the crying type you see, but hey, it was my mom. When my best friend moved away, I kept my charade up. It helps, that mask of diligence, when it looks like you're in deep thought about a question and really you're just thinking about your friend who just died from Nuclear exposion, no one will pin anything on you. For this day, I took off my charade mask. I had no particular reason for doing so, I just needed a break. Boy, did I get one.

It was homeroom, Channel One was on, I wasn't really watching it, but I could hear what they were saying. Suddenly, my teacher cried

"everyone watch Channel One! No Talking!" we all shrank in our seats. Our history teacher is very imposing with her stark white hair and burning blue eyes. I shoved the magazine away that I had been glancing through and turned my body in the uncomfortable desk to face the T.V. Which was conviently located DIRECTLY BEHIND ME. They were conversing about the military movements in Iraq

"So far, causualtys for the U.S. have been few, only 142 soilders have been killed, and 246 wounded.Here's a few of the soilders that have been killed" I saw a flash of what looked like my last name, but it was gone in a second. "At the end of the show, we'll show you a complete list of the casualties" For the rest of the 12 minutes of the show, I waited, looking bored. They were talking about the unusual migration pattern of bunnys now. Oh. Boy. Finally, the session ended, and just as I was about to turn around and wait anxiously for the bell, the names flashed on the screen.

At the top of the list was my worst fear. the words read: Nickolas Arden.

My brother.

Something in my stomach contracted.I had to get out of the room, away from people. Only fractured sentences went through my mind. Stand up. Teacher, Say you want the pass. walk. go out the door... keep walking.
The restroom. go there. don't break yet, you're almost there.

MY knees gave out. I collasped in front of a room. Tears were rushing down my face. My hand was clasped to my mouth to stifle the sobs. People rushed out of the class room ,and circled me.

"What happened?" the teacher asked "What happened?" THe tears had stopped. Everthing was slighty off, sounds were slightly dulled. Then, a face appeared.

"Molly?" it was Dereck.

"He's gone. Poof. gone" I wispered. Derecks' eyes were slightly blurred.

'She must be on something" the teacher paniced.

"NO" Dereck said strongly. Tears were at the brim of his green eyes. 'She's just in mourning"

"Dereck?" I asked, noticing his tears. HE turned to me.

"My dad" he choked. my eyes went wide in my head, and I wraped my arms around him.

"I'm sorry"

We sat there for what seemed like eternity. Finally, we both got up, Dereck stronger than he had ever been. We walked down the stairs turned the corner. People came out of the class rooms, staring, wanting to help. I stared straight ahead, even though I saw Michelle, Janie and Julia, my three best friends. I couldn't face them now. Dereck and I walked to the concellor's office, didn't say a word, but got out of the building passes. Left our stuff, and walked out the door to my car.

"Can you drive?" he asked tentively.

" "

"Thats what I thought" he took my keys from my pocket, helped me into the car, and took me home

"I'll return the car tommorow" he said as he walked me to my door. I couldn't hear him, everything was so... loud. I heard crickets, and the wind, and my breathing, even my heart beating. But that was it. NO voices, not the door opening. I didn't even feel it when he kissed my cheek

"I am so sorry.'

"Me too" I said blankly.

"Get some rest Moll. Please"

"uh huh."

That is all I remeber. Next thing I know, I'm in the hospital, machines hooked up to me. Turns out, my body shut down about an hour after I arrived home. A neighbor saw me, took me to the hospital and I have been in a coma for 3 weeks. My body just shut down from grief....

The end.