The lamp was glowing in the dark room. Her eyes were still open, too happy to fall asleep. She took a millionth look at the beautiful box wrapped in red paper. He was a wrist watch fanatic and she bought him exactly what he had been waiting for. She hadn’t seen him for over 6 months. But before he left, he had left something with her that was even more precious for them both. She laid there, eyes still open with a wide smile on her face as she caressed her bulging stomach.
“Just two more days!”, she thought. She couldn’t wait any longer to see his face. To fall into arms and tell him how much she had missed him all along. She was sure that he missed her even more. Bending over to the side, she picked up her phone. He had sent her a photograph of his tickets earlier, with the caption that said, “See y’all soon, my two angels”. She couldn’t have been happier! She had been making all kinds of preparations the entire week and now the day was just round the corner.
The morning light broke through the window. After waking up feeling as happy as ever, she made herself a sweet cup of tea. Realizing the time, she rushed to her phone and dialed his number. She always knew the hours to when he would be available to answer but to her surprise, this time, he didn’t. This never happened before. All other days, either one of them would give a ring at this exact time and have an hour long conversation. But she didn’t worry. She waited, patiently.
Just when it began to take quite long, her heartbeats began to pick up pace. Never did a single day pass without listening to his voice. She touched her stomach and gently stroked it repeatedly. Walking up and down her front yard, constantly looking into her phone, she waited. It had been more than 8 hours that she didn’t hear from him at all. “Maybe, he wants to surprise me”, she told herself to clam her down. The sun was getting ready to settle down. Just then, she saw a van at a distance. Surprisingly, it drove it’s way towards her house. She knew he was back! She had been a fool to worry, he did really surprise her!
The doors of the vehicle opened, She Waited, anxiously for his muscular body to step out and start running towards her. She walked a little ahead to take a closer look. Four men dressed in the uniform got off the van, carrying something behind them. The world around her stopped as she knew what had happened. Her heart felt heavy and as though it even stopped beating. The men placed the box wrapped in the tricolor in front of her. Immense grief in each one of their eyes.
This was not what she had been waiting for. Even then, she sat down, opened the box to see her childhood love’s face, her man whose eyes were now shut, whose heart had no rhythm.
He was gone. Gone to save her and their child. Gone to save his mother land.
She shed thousands of tears but she did not mourn. Those tears sparkled in her eyes with pride. She knew his life was not lost in vain and she wouldn’t let hers go too. Staying strong and moving on with her life, raising their child by telling stories of her husband’s heroism was something she decided to do immediately.
There were many more like her. Parents, Wives, Siblings, Children who waited eagerly for their hero to return home, with a hope that he would still be breathing. The Heroes who stood by the borders and protected their beloved country, just like him.
For her, he wasn’t just a soldier. He was the man who fought till his last breath, he was the man who made that little difference to his nation. She knew too well that to see his smiling face again, she would have to wait till they met in another world. She knew that in that world they would never separate. And so She kept waiting, And so, She kept living.
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