Private Vincent James Rousseau

We were introduced at the bases infirmary. His name was Private Garrett “Pretty Boy” Woods. He lay stuck under his hospital sheets like they were made of heavy iron, a cigarette rested between his lips, smoke rolling out of his abused lungs. His hair was the color of sunrays, bright and pleasant. His skin was sunkissed to a smooth topaz and his eyes resembled the most treacherous of seas. I sat in a bed adjacent to him and stared at his blood, dizzy from the stench, feeling that same comforting black feeling. “I was in love once,” he said, his half finished cigarette lit towards the sky because the nurse had pronounced him dead three hours ago. “Her name was Katie… a perfect ten… man… best set of legs on any day…” My mind ate his words like the victory we so badly needed, lost in the image of a stranger named Katie. The invisible pictures of her spoke stories of our lives, memories we were too tired to recall. We drew her close in our arms and tucked our pain deep in her pocket. She spoke no words, but I could hear her heartbeat scream the passions of a loving women. Our mouths hung open pleading, wanting to share with her the secrets of our minds, but she hushed us with her eyes, intoxicating like wine, and like a drunk he reached out, smiling in his euphoria. Death was nothing compared to a beautiful girl.