I haven’t written anything in quite a while. I had this story on a back-burner so I decided to dust it off and finish it. It is very different from my usual writing style. Let me know what you think of it. – The Only Son
Gary has been awfully quiet since he got back last year from his second tour in Afghanistan. Oddly, I was expecting this behaviour from him after his first tour, which was right after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001. He was never very talkative, more of the strong silent type. He played defensive back on the high school football team, earning himself a scholarship to university, but his grades were so low after two semesters they revoked his scholarship. At 20 years old, he felt his best option was to enlist. He had no trouble becoming a military officer. He passed the physical and all the aptitude tests with flying colors. Shortly after he got trained, the attacks on New York City took place. He was literally thrown from training straight into combat. Gary relished in this; he lived for action.
Growing up, we were close. I was the older brother, looking out for Gary. He’d follow my friends and I to the park. I’d make him stand on the side while we played tackle football. The rare time we let him play, he would do okay, until one day, when he was thirteen years old, he began dominating on the field. I usually played quarterback, and his job was to protect me. I must admit, my playground football career was a success because of my kid brother. There eventually came a time when I no longer needed to look out for Gary. He became physically stronger than I am, and he’d bail me out of many bar fights when we went out drinking. But I was the studious one. I got good grades, finished my degree, completed my teaching certificate, and got a cozy job teaching high school math. Continue reading