What's Left

By: Kristen

It was a melancholy feeling, one that I had felt over and over again in the past five years, but not quite like this. I was in an

almost ghost-like state, wandering aimlessly amongst the near-empty streets. Nothing was as I remembered it except for the

frames of what was once a captivating southern town, filled with all the charm and zest that a town could muster. The Spanish

moss and old soldier oaks lined in military fashion seemed to be impenetrable to me then, but now seemed like cobwebs

draping lethargically with no sign of life. The streets were empty, everything worn. Like the town, I felt drained of my existence,

my heart fading to the beat of a drummer from years past.

I have returned to my home after being gone four years. My once banal and benign life is now gone with the wind. I know for

the rest of my life the images of wounded soldiers, crimson stained bandages, and lamenting cries will forever play out in my

mind. War has become a reality. My light-hearted youth and days of carefree living have been replaced with the cruel existence

of a country divided.

On a typical balmy afternoon in southern Georgia, one beset with the typical cadence of approaching thunderstorms from the

Atlantic, I begin my trek to our old home. As I walk deliberately down the one-way road to my future existence, through the

dank warm air with a faint scent of magnolia, my mind wrestles with what lies ahead. My mind races, yet my feet will move no

faster. I am torn between the fear of the unknown and the fear of the past. I do not know what to expect. I anticipate the best,

yet with reservation I dare not to be too hopeful. My pulse pounds methodically making me supremely aware that there is still

life within me.