It was considered the highest honor, the greatest sacrifice for your country. Something for people back home to joke about, "If you go and get yourself killed, I'll bring you back and kill you myself!"
It was something that never appealed to me, at all.
Funny then, how that's exactly what happened.
I was sitting at my desk, in high school, sketching. Trying so hard to make this one as beautiful as ever, after all, this was the last page in my book. That is when my whole world changed, I knew it then too, but I never would have guessed to this extent.
The man came in, looking much too uptight, for such an easy going campus. Then again, all of those guys had that same look in their eye; one that I'm sure would be mirrored in my own eyes now. How much different would my life had been if I had just ignored his lecture about rights and motherlands and all that other stuff. I'd heard it so many times, all over the news, all over town, everywhere. It's not that it wasn't interesting, but you couldn't get away from the war. So, not wanting to go look weak in front of all my classmates, I joined the German Army.
Going through training was one of the hardest times in my life. I had never been into gym or sports activities. If asked to go play soccer, I'd opt for my sketchbook instead. After all, I was better at it. Drawing wouldn't get me through this though.
I swear that I should have never been let out of training. Even if I could now do what all those other men could, I didn't have the heart. No, that's not the right word, it should be boys. As much as we wanted to be, we weren't men yet. Those mothers at the station could prove it, we were their 'babies' as they put it. At this point, I used to think, "Oh well, I'll just get some medal and return home!"
I wish I was still that naïve.
After so long at war, I was so sick of it. The blood, the death, and the stench. Not to mention, I bet that I would have had to start from scratch when it came to drawing, I'm sure I had no talent left. I was at the front lines, in the trenches by now. What I will forever swear is the worst part of the war. And I'm seriously running out of socks.
Everyone always asks about the pain when you've been shot. To be honest, I almost hadn't realized it happened. Except there had been the impact, I felt like someone had punched me as hard as they could, maybe a super hero punch or something. The real pain didn't come until later.
Not that it would have mattered. The British and French are overpowering this side. They really won't be able to get my out of here, I already know that. I've seen this happen too many times.
As I'm being carried away, I can see a bird flying overhead. I can't help but to imagine being able to draw that. But, with as bad as I'm shaking by now, I doubt I could have if I'd wanted to.
Dyeing is an odd feeling.
Why can't that be my mother's voice calling my name instead of some random guy's? Why can't I go home? Why was I even fighting? Why did I join this? Why can't this be happening, when I'm old and have lived?
Why is this, such an honor?