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We had been keeping watch for hours having a few close calls when the enemy charged at us. They came as close as the front door, but we managed to push them back. They also had Rocket Propelled Grenades, commonly known as RPGs, and took a shot or two before running back into the night. It was 3AM now and the sun would soon be rising. Brett, Marc-Andre and I have been taking one hour shifts to be the awake person incase another attack came. It's so hard to stay awake.

We lost another two soldiers in the attacks, but we had to stay sharp and try not to think about it right now.

I miss Ashley so much. All I wanted was to go back to her arms and hold her forever. I looked at my watch and woke Marc-Andre up.

"Your turn." I said silently.

"Are things quiet?" He asked me, obviously still tired after his two hour rest.

"Like a library." I answered.

"It better stay that way or I won't be a happy camper." He joked.

Marc-Andre got his wish. It stayed quiet for the rest of the night. All the troops awakened for 4 AM and got to see the sunrise. Despite the destruction of the city of angels, the sun rising behind the ruins had an inexplicable beauty. The sun was almost telling us that once we go meet it on the other side of the city, everything's going to be all right.


Dear Ashley,

I think about you every minute, day and night. The only thing getting me through this is the thought of coming back to you. I hope everything is going well for the both of you. We're all doing fine. They shipped us right into a firefight and we had to retake our old school. Easier said than done. We lost a lot of good people, but we did it.

Brett's gone to help unload supplies, but he sends his love to you and Mary-Kate. Marc-Andre is here. He's giving you a letter hug, whatever that is.

Captain Gibson is calling us to help unload supplies. Hope to hear from you soon. To send us a letter, address it to our name and add our soldier number to the end of the name. These are our addresses:

Private Brett 860613
C/o US Army

Private Marc-Andre 860612
C/o US Army

Private 1st Class Matt 860614
C/O US Army.


I was soo happy to get Matt's letter. I felt as happy as I had when he first asked me out. I was truly floating all that day! And as soon as I could I wrote back....

Dear Matt,

I didn't know you could miss a person so much after less then 48 hours. But, I miss you so much I feel sick. I've seen LA on the news. It's hard to believe it's the same city!

Mary-Kate and I are fine. I hope. We were baby-sitting last night and I was reading the Tin Soler. Mary-Kate totally freaked out. She's really worried about Brett. Guess they care about each other even more then we imagined. Like I care about you. :)

I'm quite curious to see what will happen with this Ryan guy though. Though they sorted it out she's unconciously still kind of mad at Brett for leaving, but Ryan didn't leave. He's still here... Don't tell Brett I said this though. Just tell him she's fine and missing him heaps.

I discovered a great library here. It's surprising for such a small town to have such an impressive one. I was looking in books about Europe. I so can't wait to go. I photocopied some pictures and will include them in here.

Well, my breaks almost over. Back to cleaning (such fun)

I love you and miss you SO much!

Lots of Love,


I kissed the letter then slipped it in the mailbox. I wished I could join it and go to where Matt was, but I'm not sure I'd be able to handle the condition my home was in..


Our first week wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. To reward us for taking back the school so quickly and efficiently, command gave us some easy missions with only light combat. Some reward.

Matt got a letter back from Ashley this morning and he's been having that dreamy look all day. He was going to pick up a box of grenades, but I stopped him before he blew us all up. I can't help but envy him though, I wish I got a letter from Mary-Kate, but maybe her's got lost. I'll wait a few more days.

Marc-Andre walked up to Matt and I with new orders.

"What's our next mission?" Matt asked.

"We are doing stealth recon of a section of the downtown core." He said as he sat down beside us.

"Sounds simple enough." I said. It was a bright and sunny day without a cloud int he sky. The temperature reached 38 celsius and there was hardly any shade around. Matt, Marc-Andre and I were on our free time, just about the only thing to look forward too in the army.

"I wonder what Ashley is doing right now." Matt said, dreamily.

"If I know Ashley, she's probably wondering the same about you." Marc-Andre replied.


"I wonder what Matt's dong right now" Ashley said sitting next to me on the grass where I'd been reading.

"Probably day dreaming about you"

"He should have got my letter by now.."

I nodded and continued reading.

"Why haven't you written to Brett?" She asked interrupting me and causing me to lose my place.

I sighed "I dunno. Why hasn't he written to me?"

She was silent after that and I was able to go back to my reading.


"Come on man!" I said "You got to write to Mary-Kate! I bet she's dying to hear from you!"

"Well what am I supposed to write?" He asked me, annoyed. "Hi Mary-Kate, things are good. I've spent the last week killing people?"

I looked at him. "No doofus, tell her you miss her and stuff."

He was considering it when I added. "Come on, what do you have to lose?"

He agreed. "Probably going to be a short letter though."

"The thought is there." I said, walking off.

Hi Mary-Kate,

How are you? I hope you're doing good. I'm hanging in there. I don't really know what to write in this letter but I thought it would be good to touch base with you.

I really miss you Mary-Kate and I can't wait to see you again. I look at your picture before going to fight, after fighting, before going to bed and after I wake up. You're smile keeps me going and lights up my darkest hours.

Give Ashley my best and I hope to hear from you soon.


Chapter 23

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