There is so much blood. It's pouring out of faster than we could begin to staunch it. Our eyes meet. He has the tape, I have the bandages. We are enemies. Am I willing to die, just to take another with me? Is he? Our eyes meet again. The answer is clear: No, we are not. We trade supplies. I stand up slowly. He does the same. We grab our guns, look each other in the eye a third time, and limp back to our prospective camps. We know what we are fighting for. Freedom. Justice. We are soldiers. Only soldiers. Insignificant pawns in the overall plan of war. Like Che said, Shoot me. You will only kill a man. Our deaths would have been pointless.
Shots go off in the distance. I limp faster. A little girl is running, doll in hand, opposite me on the path. Unable to avoid it, we inevitably crash and fall. She stands up, I have her doll. She reaches for it. More shots go off, nearer now. The girl is still reaching. She falls. There is a bullet in her back. She died instantly. Tears well up in my eyes. Another innocent bystander. Another statistic of war. Soldiers fill the clearing. They are my fellow men. They grab the girl, tossing her away from me. My world slows, her body twists, showing her blank face. She explodes. A bomb, they told me later, was implanted within her. They were giving her a mercy killing. I'm in shock. I can here someone sobbing. It's me. I'm sobbing. I'm still holding the doll, too. I hug it to me, using it for the smallest of comforts.
I limp out of the tent. No one asks any questions as I go by. They are silent, knowing. I return the clearing. I find him there. The enemy. He is kneeling next to the stained, burnt spot of ground. Our eyes meet for the final time. I hand him the doll. He stares silently at it, tears streaming down his face. This is war.