Coll Writes

You know how I do.

642 Things to Write About Challenge: Week 34

Written By: Colleen - Aug• 26•13

I originally had a different topic planned for this (last) week, but I saw this topic right before I took a shower on Saturday and my imagination began to drift, so I decided to just go for it.  Personally, I think this topic and how I did it would make a great TV show, if I do say so myself.  [© chg]  Also, I know nothing about serving our country in any capacity other than what I’ve seen on TV/in movies, so please forgive me if I’m grossly off on anything.  I tried to keep it ambivalent.

A soldier is about to embark upon a mission that she knows will kill her.

You’re reading this because I’m dead.

I’m sorry if that’s harsh. I really am. But, it’s the truth. They’ll say I died a hero, but I was just following orders.

Call me Ella. I have always loved that name.  Who I am doesn’t matter nor does my rank nor my mission.  I have no bitterness or whistles to blow.  I do my job because I love it. It gives me a sense of pride. A purpose. A purpose in life and now a purpose in death.

I paced in the hallway.  It was drab and cold but clean, though I didn’t notice this through my nerves.  I just had a feeling that something was about to happen today.  I felt a flood of heat surge up from my toes, through my legs, pause in my stomach, before racing to my face, where my freckles blended in with my flushed face, matching my hair.  Walking into the office, I knew my life was about to change.

And change it did.

Armed with new orders, I walked away quietly, slowly. Matter-of-factly. This was my mission and it would will be my last.  But such is life.  I have orders to follow.

I sat on a bench outside after that meeting.  I reflected on life, on its meaning, on how temporary it is.  Then, I created this blog and wrote 52 posts, setting them to go up on a timer, once a week, for a year after I am gone.  I did it as my own personal therapy over the past day.   I wanted to remind myself of who I am.  I wanted to write down what I have done over the past 35 years so I could get it all out.  I have done exciting things and mundane things.  I have laughed and loved and cried and thrown temper tantrums.  I am a lot of things.  I am a good little soldier.  I am a good friend.  A good daughter.  A good sister.

I think the person I feel the worst for is my brother. Growing up, I had two different friends who each lost a sibling. One to cancer, the other in a car accident. I always wondered how it would feel to be the sibling who lived, knowing that other person you grew up with, played with, shared bedtime stories with, engaged in mischief with, fought with, was gone. I thought about the grief and the pressure to carry on their legacy. I pity my brother. I regret that I will be doing that to him.

So, here I stand, one hour from embarking on my next and final mission.  I am sending my family the link to this blog as well as a video goodbye.  I don’t need anyone to read this, but I thought it may give them comfort to know that I have lived a full life with little regrets.

So if you’re reading this, please don’t spend a lot of time crying for me or being angry at those that sent me to my death.  And please, don’t call me a hero.  I was just following orders.

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  1. Jay Glatfelter says:

    A fantastic piece of writing! 🙂

    • Colleen Glatfelter says:

      Bias!

      • Adam Gough says:

        I really enjoyed this piece too – and not being your husband, I think I can at least claim to be less biased …

        I don’t recall your posting of any actual fiction like this before, but I certainly hope you do again. In fact, I’d really love to read the other 51 posts that Ella mentioned in this one!

        I smell a book here! ;o)

        • Colleen Glatfelter says:

          Now I’m blushing. Thanks 🙂 I don’t really post any fiction publicly because I am insecure of it. Maybe I’ll do it again. There’s a lot of topics in that book that beg for fiction answers. Thank you! 🙂

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