(Act I) Rachel
The sun has risen. It’s a beautiful clear fall day. The leaves are everywhere in all colors.
I am at a park near a bench. From a distance, I see an old gate bridge. There are people everywhere. It must be a sendoff. They are smiling enjoying the moment. Then I see her. She’s wearing a black peacoat. It’s Rachel. She comes and hugs me. She’s excited to show me pictures she has taken. I can’t tell who’s in them. They’re in sepia tone and blurry. We sit down on the bench. Her natural beauty and soft voice bring me peace.
With every picture she hands me, I try to touch her hand. Just a soft touch. She suddenly catches me. She smiles softly and looks at me. Our eyes connect for a second. She must know how I feel about her. She came all the way here. She’s the only one who made the journey to see me.
Then, it happens.
A loud thunderous explosion. The earth shakes. People begin to scream and run. Then another explosion. I see the smoke. “I have to go now, run towards the bridge, it’s the only way out of here,” I say to her – then hold her hand, hold her tight, we look at each other as people run in panic. We both know it’s the last time we’ll see one another. I want her to be safe. She deserves to be happy and live a long amazing life.
As she runs away, it hits me. I came here to fight a war. I look around; we’re all soldiers heading towards the plumes of smoke.
The helicopters rumble low over us in slow motion. Pictures Rachel left on the bench fly everywhere. Everyone is holding on.
I run north towards the town. Narrow cobblestone uphill streets. I see soldiers gathering. We all lineup. We meet the man in charge. He gives everyone individual instructions. He sends them off. “Wait!, not you, you come here,” he tells me. He gives me a particular mission. He points me towards a different place and tells me I will figure it out as I go.
I hear gunfire. I feel the earth shake with every explosion. My heart is beating faster than ever. I am gasping for air as I run. Then I see a woman. She’s sitting down. As I get close, I see she’s my mother. She’s young.
My mother too came to say goodbye. “Please be careful my son and remember everything I have taught you,” she tells me as she holds my face with both hands. She hugs me, we both cry. I know she will never see me again. I must do this. I must fight this battle in front of me. No time to ponder. I must keep going.
I promise her “I will be fine, I will be back, all will be ok”. Deep inside I know I won’t.
She lets go. I start running. I realize I need a weapon or something to help me fight. I can’t do this alone. Fear begins to set in.
I see a train that has just has arrived at the station as it lets out a loud plume of steam. People begin boarding. They’re all civilians fleeing this war. I look around, and there is Rachel. She’s boarding the train as well. I am happy. I know she will be safe now. This train will take her to the bridge where she will cross. It’s safe on the other side.
She sees me. Our eyes connect. She reaches for a camera. She wants to take one last picture of me. The train begins to move. The loud steam whistle goes off. I can’t run for it this time. I need to continue. I wave goodbye.
I don’t know what my mission is or why I was chosen, but I need to move forward.
I arrive at the top of the hill. I look around and see roofs. Smoke is everywhere. I freeze in fear. A gun is placed on my back. A man yells at me. I hear troops everywhere. I’ve been captured. I am asked to raise my hands to my head. “why are you here? Who are you?” he shouts. They’re all wearing black uniforms. They’re not Nazis. He speaks in a language I understand.
“I’m just a visitor. Not sure from where”.