THE BROTHERS

-.-.-.-.-.-

The brothers met in the dead of night, between each others' camps. Under the light of the moon, they put aside their differences and spoke on the blood-soaked field. After all, were they not brothers?

"Jonathan."

"Kit, my brother! What news do you bring from the North?"

"Father has recovered from his illness, although Doctor Smith says that he should remain in bed and not return to the factory."

"Good, good. Send him my regards, and tell him to be in no hurry to return to work. But what of the girls?"

"Annabeth sends her love. She is pregnant with our first child, and she says that it will be a son."

"Congratulations! Imagine that! My brother, a father!"

"I know, I can barely comprehend it myself. Mother and Madeline miss you more every day."

"Ah, bless them both. Tell Mother that I love her, and tell Maddie that her favorite brother says happy birthday."

"I will, though it will be hard on her… she still does not understand why you have gone from us."

"She does not have to, for she is young, and unburdened with the troubles of the elders, as we are burdened. Understand, brother… while I love you all, and your unborn son, I do not regret my choice. After all, it is mine to make. I shall fight for the South, while you fight for the North."

"I do not understand your choice, Jonathan, but I accept and respect it. Father will be heartbroken that you have not returned, though. We all are. Will you at least come home for Christmas?"

"You never know, brother. This war for the independence of the South is taxing at best."

"Indeed, the same is for the North."

"It is getting late, we ought to return before questions are asked."

"Farewell, Jonny boy. Good luck tomorrow. Maybe our paths will cross again."

"Maybe. Farewell."

The next night the Union soldier waits for his Confederate brother in the dead of night.

He does not come.