The heart of a soldier - SAMPLE

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Chapter 4: Home sweet home

Getting out of the car I looked up at the family house.

It hasn’t changed at all.

The house was in a white brick stone with three columns surrounding the porch.

There was a white railing that surrounded the porch with three steps that lead to it from the front yard.

From the street was a little stone path that was surrounded by grass and flowers that my mom loved to care for, and one on each side a rose bush next to the steps.

The front door was dark red with a glass in it, and of course, everything was in order, in its place and perfectly trimmed and taken care of.

Taking in a deep breath, I followed my family into the house.

It was simple inside and homey feeling, anyone who comes in the house can just feel it is warm and welcoming and filled with love.

There were so many pictures of my siblings and family on our vacation trips, hanging over on the wall as your climbing up the staircase.

“I will go and unpack in my room,” I said as I took my duffle bag from my dad.

“Okay darling I will make your favorite so don’t be too long.” My mom said as she went to the kitchen.

Climbing on the stairs I felt a heavy pang in my chest as everything was bursting with memories.

Shaking my head from the memories I went ahead towards my room and opened the door.

Everything was the same as I left it.

The walls of my room were in a light blue color. Opposite the door was a glass white door that leads to the balcony.

On the left of the entrance stood a queen-sized bed covered in navy color quill with two nightstands tables with two lamps.

Opposite the bed on my right was a dresser with a TV set on the wall just above it, a door to the joined bathroom, and a closet door next to the entrance.

Entering inside my room, I placed the duffle bag onto my bed and looked around.

The wall above my work desk that was near my bed had shelves.

They were covered with trophies I won since I was a teenager.

Getting up from my bed, I went and took one picture that was standing there on the shelf. It was a picture of me and my twin brother Tim.

I took the picture and just hold it in my hands as I looked at our smiling faces as we were holding our trophies.

I missed him so much.

The knock on the door sounded and I gathered myself up quickly.

“Come in.”

Meg entered in and looked at me.

“Do you need some company to help you unpack? “ Smiling at me gently she stood there at the door and waited for my answer.

“You know I can never turn your company down.” I smiled at her back.

We slowly unpacked my bag and set all in its place then we sat down on the bed.

“Luke called to check up on you.”

“Did he now?”

“Yeah, he said he will come by tomorrow and catch up with you.”

“Sounds good.”

“Does it hurt badly?”

“Does what hurt?”

“Your shoulder silly.” Rolling her eyes she snorted at me.

“Not as it did before. Okay, let’s go down before mom storms up here and drags us to the kitchen.”

Meg laughed and took my hand as we descended the stairs and went to the kitchen.

Getting in the kitchen we saw dad sitting by the kitchen island and reading today’s paper.

“Did you got yourself set?” mom asked me from the oven as she was stirring something there.

“Yes all done.”

“Ok good. Well, the food is good and ready.”

Mom placed a bowl of lasagna in front of us and sat next to my dad.

Meg and I looked at each other and were about to grab a piece of it when a voice came in from the front door.

“Wait for me!” Mike yelled as he hurriedly got himself ready and running towards the kitchen.

“Phew, I thought you two will eat already the whole bowl.”

“Why would you think we would eat all of it?” Meg looked at him with narrowed eyes.

“Because you two eat like termites,” Mike said laughing which earned him a punch from Megan.

I shook my head and laughed at them as I took a piece of lasagna and started to eat.

God, I loved homemade cooking and my mom’s lasagnas, it is just mouthwatering.

We all dig in and eat as we laughed and talked throughout the meal.

It was refreshing and something I haven’t done in a while. I know mom and dad missed me and knew I always made up excuses for coming less.

It was 5 years when I was home here with them all. Yes, we saw each other and spoke not daily as my work doesn’t let us to which sometimes I was grateful for, especially as mom would start to make me feel guilty for not being there, but here I am now.

Yes, the situation could have been better and not me getting a hit to make me get back here to recover, but better something than nothing.

My life was shit.

Yeah, I did great in my career, but even getting myself buried in my work, sometimes didn’t help with feeling lonely.

Once I wanted and saw myself having a family of my own.

Tim would tease me as he knew that I was head over heels with a girl that I had a hard time moving forward.

But that is life. We don’t always get what we want.

The bitter truth.

Thanks to my line of work, I have seen the world and saw the good, bad, and the ugly sides of it.

I remember one time I was in India. Beautiful country.

We were stationed there for some time for training.

One day I went to the city there, it was a rather near town near the drill grounds where we had our training.

So my teammates and I were there walking through the market and I saw an older woman crying.

A man was yelling at her as he kicked her out of a house.

She was crumbled down on the floor, crying so hard.

None did anything, they just passed her by and turned their heads away.

I asked a salesman to tell me what happened as he knew English thank God, so he told me that the guy was her son and he got mad at her for something and just kicked her out of the house.

The old lady had nothing with her and she was supposed to just somehow live in the streets.

I went to her and helped her up. I tried to tell her that everything will be ok.

I had to do something, I couldn’t just go away and not try to help her if I could somehow.

I stood there and looked around thinking about what to do, and then it hit me.

I turned to the old lady and tried to explain to her I will be right back as I ran ahead and went from shop to shop to get all the things I needed.

I came back to her and she was looking at me carrying my arms full of stuff and I smiled at her.

So she looked good at the things I had bought and gave it to her. They were simple things.

Things like three pans and some herbs and spices and food supplies.

I told her to take them with her and she can use them all to earn some money for herself daily to help her go on.

She hugged me so hard and cried as she thanked me. I took her hand and add some money as well so she can get someplace to sleep at.

At least till she doesn’t stand on her own two feet. Then she kissed my cheeks and asked my name and we said bye to each other.

I came to that street daily or every two days as much as I could. I felt the need to check on her and protect her as best I could.

I saw her food stall grow daily.

I watched over her every time I went there, from afar. It made me happy to see she was doing well and eventually her dishes turned to be a huge hit.

I was proud of her.

One day I saw her talking to a poor young family and she led them to a house and gave them some money, then she saw me and smiled as she was approaching me.

She hugged me so tight and kissed my cheeks and said “Thank you for everything you have done for me, Matthew. I will never forget your genericity and kindness as to how much you encouraged me and helped me out.”

I was speechless.

I had no idea she knew English, yet there she stood smiling and happy.

I asked her about the young family and she said “As you gave me hope and help I am returning the same kindness to ones in need of it to.”

Shortly after that, I was departed back to my home and I never forgot that old woman.

“Matt darling, are you ok?” mom asked me worriedly

I smiled at her “Yes I am, just a little bit tired.”

“Why don’t you go get some rest? It is rather getting late darling.”

“I will mom.”

Standing up I took my plate and kissed my family goodnight as I retreated back to my room.

Sighing out as I lay on my bed I let myself drift off to sleep.

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