The world, which was filled with incessant gun shot sounds and screams mere seconds back, turned quiet all at once.
All that he could now hear were the rapid beats of his heart pumping desperately against his chest and his ragged breath.
All that he could perceive was the sharp pain in his chest where the bullet had penetrated straight through.
He stood, for as long as his legs allowed him; and when all the strength finally abandoned his body, hit the dirt-packed ground face first.
He could faintly hear one of his comrades screaming his name, and felt his body being dragged behind the remains of a once-mighty wall.
Blurred vision made it impossible for him to recognize who the soldier was, yet with all the strength he could muster, pulled out a crumpled envelope and handed it to him.
*15 days earlier*
Captain Walker sat on a neat desk in a crisp uniform with a straight posture as he wrote word after word to his parents.
"Dearest mother and father,
I hope with all my heart that you both are well and happy. I sit in my little room at this very instant and I see a clear night sky from my window.
There are millions of stars scattered all over the sky tonight and the moon seems to shine a bit more brighter than it usually does;
as if the moon itself is hinting at me to pour out
every single drop of emotion and thought that my heart has been burdened with over the past few years.
The stars appear to cheer alongside the moon tonight; this strangely comforts me and gives me strength.
Now that I am finally off to war,
I recall the last few miserable days before I joined the army all those years back and I think it wise to express all of my thoughts and feelings and relieve you both of the burden
that you must have carried for such a long time.
I must sincerely apologize for my misbehavior, how irrationally I reacted that time when you first told me I must, at any cost, enlist in the army.
I had a dream; a dream of one day sitting in front of my beloved piano and performing in front of a massive audience.
To be a renowned pianist and make my family, and the generations to come, immensely proud. This dream of mine seemed to shatter into millions of pieces, the moment the word "enlist" hit my ear.
And just like shards of glass which cannot ever be repaired, I knew I had lost my dream.
I acted without thinking; said spiteful words to you both, hurt you both when I should have acted more sensibly. I now realize my behavior to you then was unforgivable.
But I was a mere boy back then, nothing like who I am now.
And although I still have many flaws and there are many mistakes that I still desperately wish to fix before I leave this world, I hope you find it in your dear hearts to forgive me.
After the war is over, I have decided to apply for a short visit.
I hope we can all, once again, just like the old times, sit and laugh and make many merry moments together and forget the bitterness of the past.
I look forward to seeing the two most important people in my life again, and I desperately hope they do so as well.
Your faithful son,
"Give this to my parents" He spoke to his comrade weakly, with every ounce of energy and strength that was left in his body and handed out the sealed envelope to him
"Tell them... it was never their fault;
that they did the very best for me their entire lives;
tell them to not hang down their heads;
nor to cry over my grave;
but instead stand proudly, with their heads held high;
tell them to live happily the rest of their lives,
with no regrets whatsoever...because this is what their son wanted"
He coughed out blood and knew his time was near.
"tell them...I loved them with every ounce of my being... till my last breath" He whispered,
as he sucked in his final breath.