I kicked at the men, doing anything I can to prevent them from dragging me out the front door. Jenny huddled in the corner, her hands wrapped around Roy and Rebecca. I wasn't going to give up, not until I couldn't hang on any longer.
"Let go of me!" I screamed, elbowing one of the men in his stomach.
"Your time is up. The law requires you to serve your two years in the army. If you cannot comply willingly, we are under orders to take you by force." I don't know who said that and I didn't care. I cast one last longing glance at Jenny.
As the men dragged me out the door, I yelled at the top of my lungs, "I'll be back Jenny!" I saw Jenny's head nod once as the men slammed the door shut.
Pain clenched my heart. They had tore me away from the only family I had left, leaving them with crazy terrorists prowling the area. I couldn't be there to protect them anymore, I couldn't be there to soothe them, and worst of all I couldn't be there to provide for them. I was nothing to them anymore, but a fading memory.
We traveled the dirt road in the direction of the boot camp. I know because I had been there before to see off my older brother. No one knew, I had followed them stealthily to catch one last glance at his face. Sometimes I wished I didn't follow him to find that he didn't care about us anymore.
"I have been waiting to get out of that house for years," he said to one of his escorts. I swallowed the urge to go out there and strangle him. I watched until his silhouette disappeared then went home.
To this day I had never told anyone about him and left the fake sliver of hope that he would be coming home to my younger siblings. I know for a fact that I will be home and I will come back. I will never abandon my brother and sisters.
We travelled for three days and three nights. It rained the second night, leaving us all drenched. I didn't mind though; I practically grew up in the rain. No matter if it was rain or shine, I would always be working for food.
The men cursed and rushed under cover. I stayed in the rain, letting the raindrops run down my skin. Rain always calmed me down. My anger had begun to fade and I no longer wanted to disable the men and make a run for it home. I knew that I would still be taken away. There was no hope for me, unless I can survive the two harsh years in the army.
Most don't make it out alive. Some commit suicide to free themselves of the rigorous training. Some die while in battle. Some die of over exhaustion, dying the moment they hit the ground. There were all kinds of theories how people died in boot camp, but the only thing we know for sure is that most don't make it out alive.
The government established this law because people stopped joining the army. No one knows what had caused this, but the government had to act fast. The most obvious solution was to make joining the army mandatory. Over the years, the government had cut down the time we had to serve in the army. Those who wanted to escape their old lives enlisted to join the army until they retire, like my brother did. They will never have to go home again; when they retired, the government provides you with a new life. You will never have to see your friends and family again.
On the morning of the fourth day, we reached a fenced in area with a bunch of men and women running and doing push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Sweat trickled down their faces as the trainer shouted for them to hurry up. A few collapsed to the ground and the trainer yelled at them to get up. I saw that they couldn't move anymore, but the trainer was forcing them to keep going. Some forcibly got up while others just laid there, unable to do anything.
"Get up!" the trainer yelled. When he pointed the gun at them, their eyes widen in fear. They pushed themselves off the ground and got moving. The trainer smirked, knowing that he had won.
One nudged me in the back, urging me forward to a cabin. I walked towards it while the men scattered, leaving only one to escort me to the cabin.
Inside the cabin were a bunch of others taken by law. One man stood in front of them, staring at them with cold eyes. Some of them were shifting around uncomfortably while others were paralyzed by fear. The man who escorted shoved me towards the crowd making me stumble. I turned and scowled at him and I could see a flicker of fear inside of him.
"Finally, that's all of you," the man at the front of the room drawled,"I'm Tank and I will be your trainer for the next two years. Note that at anytime you or I can be deployed. I suggest you toughen up or die at boot camp and never go home. Of course, you could always enlist in the army permanently. Any questions?"
"Is your real name Tank?" a boy asked. Tank turned his head in the boy's direction and gave him a cold stare.
"No, but what my real name is doesn't concern you. Any more questions?"
No one spoke up and Tank seemed pretty happy with that. He was applying fear so that no one would ask him a bunch of questions. For now I just want to lay low for a while and wait it out until I rebelled.
"Alright. Welcome to the U.S. Army."