“Nancy, will you call my son into the office?”
“Yes sir, do you need anything else?”
“No, that will be all. Thank you Nancy.”
John walked to the elevator after hearing that his father wanted to see him. When the elevator arrived, he stepped in and pressed the button that would take him to the top floor in the tallest building belonging to his father’s production corporation.
“How does everything look son?”
“Everyone is working hard. Do you need progress reports?”
“No,” John heard his father’s raspy voice as he took the chair in front of the only desk in the large room, “I just wanted to talk to you about something very important. Follow me son.” John’s father turned his motorized chair around so that he was facing his son, and then maneuvered it around his desk and toward the elevator.”
“John. What are you still doing here? It’s late. Are you playing with that machine again? You know it’s dangerous to use this thing by yourself.”
John saw a bright light as the elevator door opened and he found himself sitting upright in a metal chair with two small electrodes attached to his temples. He looked at his sister, who was standing over him, “I knew you would come.”
“What are you looking for?” she asked.
John removed the electrodes, “I think the old man was trying to tell me something else. There is something else he wanted me to see.”
His sister, Lexi, sighed, “Would you stop calling him ‘old man’. He was your father too.”
“Well,” John replied as he stood up, “He didn’t act like it very much.”
“So, why do you care that he was trying to tell you something else?” Lexi inquired.
“I don’t know. Maybe I just want there to be something more.” John took a few steps toward the table that sat behind the chair and pressed a button, “Can you stay for a few more minutes?” The table lit up as the surface turned green and produced a holographic image above it.
“What did you notice this time that you missed every other time?”
“Dad didn’t just own a company that produced weapon’s for the military. He served in the field.”
Lexi was shocked, “How come no one knew about this?”
“I don’t know. I noticed this time that he was wearing some type of military patch. I don’t ever remember seeing it before.”
“And how many times have you gone under?”
John moved his hand across the surface of the table causing it to project what looked like a keyboard. He slowly typed, “J-O-H-N F-O-W-L-E-R U-S A-R-M-Y”. Six red lines appeared within the holographic projection. John moved his hand on the surface of the table once again, zooming in on the end-point of each red line.
Lexi joined him at the table, “Look at this!” She placed her hand on the table making visible one specific point on the line.
John zoomed in, “That’s where I need to look.” He walked around and sat back in the chair.
“Do you know what you are looking for?”
John looked at his sister as he placed the electrodes on his temples once again, “No.”
“Okay,” John’s sister pressed a large button that was also located on the side of the table.
“Sir. Sir I am sorry, but civilians are not allowed on this premises.”
“That is not a civilian private. Fowler, why aren’t you suited up? This is an active war zone son. Now, get your equipment ant get back to your post immediately.”
John did not know how to respond, so he said, “Yes sir,” with a bold voice and jogged toward what looked like a brown tent. He glanced behind him briefly to make sure no one was following him. Because he was looking away, he ran into another soldier who dropped his helmet due to the force of the impact. John was speechless as he noticed that the man he ran into looked almost exactly like him, only he was in military uniform. They stared at each other for a moment, and then the soldier knelt to pick up his helmet.
While the soldier retrieved his helmet, John noticed one thing: a picture of himself and Lexi, when they were about five years of age, stashed inside. John’s eyes began to fill with water, “I am ready to come out now.”
The soldier looked at John, “What?”
Everything turned white for a moment and John found himself back in the same room as his sister, “Did you see that?”
“Yes I did. Dad loved us.”
I would simply like to say thank you to all of the soldiers who serve in the U.S. Military protecting our freedom.
As I am remembering the ones who died to keep that freedom alive, I am praying for those who are risking their lives for the very same purpose.