Father came home, buried his blaster in the backyard near the flower alley and hung his uniform in the closet. His friends came to see him, family members and cousins from the village. They all rallied by the table for a lively conversation. They spoke interesting stories from the war, my father hiding in their chicken coop and Ildocian plateau completely crawled with our heavy machinery – our power banging on the black Ildocian gates.
“Ah, the way Ildock tried to defend. Oh, we made them piss themselves. They won’t be thinking of attacking us again.” The father smiled while telling stories.
Later that week father found a job in a Konian coal mine. He frequently took me fishing and we had a great time together. Life was great, but at night I could hear my parents fight and I heard my mothers’ inconsolable cries and weeps. Usually, a door slam and a sound of a car leaving the garage would follow.
Mother waited for the tears to stop before she sneaked into my room and kissed me on the forehead. Silently she prayed I never grow up. That was the only wish she had for some time until after father started drinking, and her thoughts shifted of me not becoming the same as him.
War made my father leave a piece of him on the battlefield and bring in some darkness nobody fully understood. Their fighting only became regular when father lost his job, came home stinking of alcohol and sometimes he brought some scantily dressed women.
“I am sorry for my husband. Please forgive him if he did something to you.” The mother apologized to the women that gave little thought to our misery.
Fortunately for me, I was in my teen years when only a couple things interested me. I wanted to listen to music, have fun with my friends and find a girl. More and more I started to fight my father and I will never forget the slap he gave me after I called him a coward. Mother tried to stop him from beating me, yet she was weak and powerless.
We left him soon after, but I couldn’t abandon him completely. Every time I came back to our apartment, he was in his armchair, a bottle in hand and hologram remote in the other. Sometimes I found him crying, or hiding behind the table, telling me to watch out and hide. When he would pass out on the floor, I gave him a bath and I carried him to bed. While he was sleeping, I pitied him. There’s nothing left of the man he was. He became a walking corpse, a man with ribs so showing on his skin – it almost looked like they wanted to pop out.
“What the hell happened to you?” I shook my head and looked at the poor man trembling in his nightmares.
Disaster struck again after the seven years peace, where Ildock wanted a rematch. Some of my best friends took up arms and joined the army. I was not far back behind them. We spent whole night drinking because tomorrow we had to depart for Ildock. War was slowly calling for us.
Father waited for me to get out of the bar. I stumbled over the doorstep and bumped into him, a dumb smile on my face staring at his wrinkled old eyes. Red Dawn was at the peak of the brightest top of our Mountain when the freckled man in his old uniform stopped me, his old blaster in shaking hands.
“She brought me back. May she bring you back too.” He handed me his old blaster and shed a tear that ran down his cheek.