#51 – Festering Love – McKenzie Foster

We were madly in love, unequivocally bewitched by each other but forced to keep our feelings hidden.  A forbidden love because our nations were at war and as army generals we could not be together.  But of course we had a plan, we would do our best to tire our armies with useless campaigns and prolonged conflicts in an attempt to cause an armistice.  As soon as matters were settled we’d run away together, leaving our former lives behind and beginning a new adventure.

We had a pact.  He made a promise.  I was madly in love with him.  I loved him with all my heart and soul.  And I thought he felt the same.

War is brutal, I’ve been taught this, but I sacrificed my life for him.  If discovered I could be put to death for treason.  I would gladly welcome death than be forced to live with a broken heart.  Yes, I would gladly take death over severe reprimands for my “poor decisions on the battlefield.”  This is why you wage war with the mind, not the heart.

I kept my end of the promise.  I was not as aggressive as I could or should have been.  I ignored orders from my superiors because I thought, just a little longer and this war will be over and we can be together again.  Just a little longer and I can rid myself of my armor and replace it with amour, son amour.

Supplies were dangerously low.  I thought those boys were taking inventory for us, determining what more we needed.  I was so distracted, by thoughts of us and the reunion I was so looking forward to, that I didn’t even notice their robes, not green and silver like mine, but gold, an unfamiliar and unwelcome color in our camp.  This did not strike me as odd until I reached my tent and then it clicked.  Why would your boys be in my camp, except to…

They were spies, clearly gauging our preparedness.  I raced out of my tent, the flaps to the entrance violently whipping to the side with a push of my body and that’s when I saw you.  You looked as handsome as ever, a strong beacon of hope to your armies that, to my surprise, were riding just behind you with weapons in hand, prepared for battle.

Betrayal.

I admit I was surprised at my strength.  I’m not large in stature and pulling a man from a horse is not an easy feat, but dragging him a short ways to my tent was the true marker of my confusion and rage.

Why?  Tell me why you would do this to me?  I trusted you, I loved you and I thought you loved me!  We had a promise!

I screamed through tears, punching his chest.  Grabbing my wrists, he tried to calm me, so I violently shook, trying to escape his grasp.

Why?  Why!

He had an answer for me, he opened his mouth and I opened my eyes.

A love, a war, a betrayal, and almost an explanation, but all a dream.

~ McKenzie Foster, Brunswick, Georgia

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