I wake up suddenly cold and alone, dripping with sweat. The dream replays itself in my mind over and over again. There is no white wall infront of me to help calm myself now. I panic, unknowing of what to do next. I can't concentrate, the woodwork patterns of the wardrobe slowly messing my mind as my eyes are lost inside.
I try to close my eyes but everytime I do, James' face appears behind my eyelids. "How can you call yourself a soldier?" He jeers cruelly. "You couldn't even save me." I open my eyes suddenly but the voice still echos inside my ears. "I mean me! The man you were supposed to love. How can you call yourself a soldier if you couldn't even go back for me?" Tears stream down my face as he taunts me. "Did you even try?"
His voice seems to grow faster and louder, now shouting the words at me. As my breaths get shallow and fast , my lungs seem to tighten as I struggle to catch them. The air around me feels as though there is no air. The walls around me seem to draw closer as I struggle.
My alarm clock ticks loudly in time with James' voice; I try to focus on the rhythm but nothing seems to work. It isn't even a rythmn anymore as it is becomes irregular and erratic, no longer in time with James.
"I'm sorry..." I whisper. I whisper it a thousand times more, but it makes no difference. I need to get outsie and out of this shrinking room. I run as fast as I can, out of the room, and keep running until I reach the courtyard. I leap out, breathing the cool air heavily into my lungs.
It's still dark, I can't help but notice as I put my hands on my knees and my head between them. I focus on the dark grass below me as each blade becomes clearer as James' voice fades.
I don't even notice the man standing, observing as I mutter "Jamie. James. I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry James. I love you Jamie." Then I see the figure walking over and fear freezes through my entire body. Yet, I am still saying Jamie's name.
His face becomes clearer as he approaches me. I flinch as he reaches out a hand, but instead of hurting me, he pulls me into a hug that strangely calms me. My repition of 'Jamie' seemed to slowly stop as they turned into sobs. He remained holding me and simply hushed me until a had completely stopped.
I pulled away to against the cold, hard stone wall. "George...?" I asked cautiously.
"That's my name."
"I-I'm sorry... I didn't know you were here." Why was he being so kind?
"I woke to the sound of crying and came out for a smoke." He explained. "...Do you want to talk... about the war?" He seemed quite awkward, almost robotic, like he wasn't used to being friendly. I shook my head quickly, I wanted to keep clear from that as much as possible. "Sam..." I noticed the way he called me 'Sam' not 'Samuel' "I heard what you were saying earlier." I stiffened slightly, I had almost forgotten about that. "About... James?" He asked cautiously. I remained silent. "Jamie isn't your American girlfriend, is she?"
I stayed looking at the empty courtyard in front of me. Tears brimmed my eyes again. "No... We were in the same trenches in France." I took a deep breath. "I promised I'd protect him, but I didn't - I couldn't."
"And that's why nobody gave you their condolences..." I nodded. "I won't tell anyone."
"Why are you being so nice to me?" I asked. It was like flicking a switch. His mask became his face and he was emotionless again.
"That's my business." He said, getting up and leaving before I could say anything more.
The first thing I did when I went back to my room was move the wardrobe, before lying back sown to bed. It was useless though, as I didn't sleep at all.