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Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups Shirt, hoodie
“Yes. Then they leave their children at Division 17. I have never met any woman who didn’t regret it.”
“The struggle has changed you, Algu. You are too hard now.”
When he had to leave, we exchanged combs. Mine was nicer, engraved with my name, but I wanted Efrem to have it. He insisted that I should write to him and think more about our relationship. Instead I made him a new ammo holder and sent it to him, with more ammunition, too.
Soon after I came down with typhoid. The week I returned to my battalion, there was supposed to be a ceremony with up to eighty fighters getting married. I wasn’t looking forward to it. After all, not all of the couples would attend, and I knew why—they died in action. Still, despite myself, the ceremony made me happy. I liked all the talking, the jokes, drinking dmu dmu half the night and dancing with all the newlyweds. They gave me my strength back, and I even started to envy them.
I decided to request permission to visit Efrem. It wouldn’t be hard. Our battalions sat next to each other on the same front. When I got there, the fighter who greeted me summoned a female fighter and whispered in her ear. We hugged as if she knew me. Leading me down a narrow underground corridor and placing a rag on the floor for me to sit on, she said, “Take off your ammo.” Her welcome put me at ease. She acted as if she had been stationed there a long time and had become used to the constant sound of artillery. By chance I saw something hanging in a corner and smiled. She noticed but left. I slowly reached for a jacket and the ammo holder I recognized. As I waited for Efrem, I took out the letter he had sent to me in the hospital. I read it over, as I had many times since then, especially the part in which he begged me to reply. I knew what I was going to say and mouthed the first words.
But no one came. Not the woman fighter and not Efrem. Thinking what fighter would go out without his jacket and ammunition, I got nervous. My heart started pounding louder than the artillery outside. Finally the woman fighter returned. Had she thought I was sleeping? Saying only, “We will talk tomorrow,” she took the jacket and left.
I had spent many a long night in battle, but none as long as this. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t sleep. My eyes burned. My thoughts ran wild.
The ammunition holder contained one round inscribed “only death will separate us,” the comb I’d given him, and his diary. Nothing had been written in it for forty days.