This is how I disappear

Winners write history. And after this war I can tell you that it’s
not because of shame that the defeated keep the facts to themselves,
it’s because, in the field, the survivors are alone, surrounded
by their own dead, no one listening to their version.

They are alone and would only keep on telling the same story
to themselves and that would just drive them crazy, wouldn’t it?
I try to turn around looking for the allies, but not to help me fight
the battle: the battle is over, we had lost. Lain down on the ground,
my arms wrapped around my body, in my own hug, I’m waiting for
someone to pass by and notice our pain. The battle was over a hill,
hopefully it was to be the last one. I didn’t care that we had lost. I
just wished that it was the last one, that the war was over. I was waiting
for the allies. Those men that knew about the battle, who were
supposed to be around, that luckily for them had escaped the danger,
but I wanted them to arrive. We were left there alone, isolated,
the enemies had left us. In fact, they knew it wasn’t necessary to kill
us all, we would be so scarred that our army could never possibly
start another battle, our nation would have to pay the war debts for
many years to come, our economy was going to collapse, we were
neither a threat to our enemies right now not were we soon going
to be. In the end our people arrived and brought what was left of
us home. I had been around sick men and blood and death for too
long, I didn’t want to be brought in a hospital, surrounded by more
laments. I was covered in superficial cuts, I had bruises all over my
chest and hidden by my military clothes there were more profound
wounds but since all people could see was my plain and tired face
they assumed I wasn’t in pain and let me go home. To be honest, the
emotionless face wasn’t to fool them, it was because I didn’t want
to feel the pain, if I complained it would just make my cuts deeper
and my bruises darker, my tears would just make all of this real.
The war was over, I had spent the last months sleepless, the lullaby cradling me was made by the sounds of bombs colliding
with the ground, I had to plan every move because a mistake could be the death of someone and now it was all
over. I knew that my people weren’t interested in my version: I had lost the war, I was a delusional, more likely insane
soldier. The enemies weren’t interested in our losses, they had to fix their own economy and thinking that men starving
in our nation was partly their fault wasn’t something they wanted to read in the papers. The allies had taken the
winners’ parts and were spreading their stories through television and newspapers. No one would listen to me not did I
wanted to listen to myself, I locked myself in a newly rented apartment and I rested my head on the pillow, in a room
darker than my bruises so that I wouldn’t see them. The tears draining my emotions away. This is how I disappear.

Sara De Leo

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