I couldn't see her anymore. The powerful steam from the engine flooded the platform and she was gone in its thick, pungent clouds. The steel scream of the train’s wheels ripped along every nerve. I wanted to rage, beat my fists against the window, make her stop the train. But there were four other soldiers in the carriage watching me, with their eager eyes and bright smiles. Their laughter was high, intense. They were scared. Excited, but scared. I could see her eyes, her mouth, her stubborn chin and her long fingers in each of the young men.
They changed the law after this battle, the one we were heading towards. It was the last time brothers ever served in the same unit.
If I could return, back to that time before I was conscious, before I understood the recruitment officer had lied about glory and honour, before I left my family for the war, I would change every decision I made that day. But I couldn't. And here I was, a man of no special talents. Except one. I was their captain. It was my job to lead these men to their deaths.
And I did my job well.