“Promise me you will die a beautiful death…”

“Promise me you will die a beautiful death…”

November 20, 2021 0 By Anton

The World War broke across Europe. As countries were burning, as the earth was soaked in crimson blood, on a grey rainy day, somewhere on a port in England, a soldier and his wife stood unmoved, hugging each other under the torrential rain and powerful, cold wind.

He was wearing a British naval forces’ uniform and a dark green trench coat, with its collar lifted for more protection against the current. Symmetric red lips, brown eyes and two, neatly arranged, black eyebrows. She was wearing a winter hat and a black trench coat underneath which the woman was dressed for the winter weather in simple colours and thick materials. Two blue eyes, blonde hair protected by the hat and red cheeks from the cold.

Behind them, a giant warship with tens of menacing guns looking like metal arms and hundreds of windows that seem like the eyes of a marine beast was moored in the port. It was scheduled to leave the next day, taking the husband away from his half and into the hell of foreign battlefields.

The wind and the rain washed over the ship and the sea slowly rocked the anchored mammoth, although this was difficult to be seen without a bit of concentration.

The wife looked at the warship with anger and sadness in her eyes: it seemed to be whispering her husband’s name.

‘It is calling you,’ she said. He turned his head slightly to gaze upon the giant metal war machine and then replied: ‘Unfortunately, is not the sea nor the ship that is calling me. It is war.’

‘It’s a necessary war,’ his wife replied quickly, placing her head on his chest, against the wet trench coat. ‘We both know what is going on in Europe. What the Germans are doing. To fight against those who want conquest for the sake of conquest is necessary, if not just.’

The soldier looked at her without changing his facial expression. ‘Expansion for the sake of expansion. Growth for the sake of growth. What a diseased perspective on the world, on men, on life…’

‘That is why we must oppose it. So we can live in a rhythm that we decide for ourselves, not hastened by others’ visions.’ His wife’s eyes were two blue crystals on a background of grey, white and black shades, all moving together like in an old movie.

The iron ship wailed under the pressure of the storm, making the sound of a thousand violins crying for the millions of mutilated dead, buried as nameless numbers in trenches and administrative spreadsheets. The couple looked at the British Bismarck and wondered telepathically: “What if we never left Paradise?”

But that thought died as quickly as they remembered that they had bodies of flesh and bone who feared pain and decay, so they turned and looked at one another: their eyes met, giving birth to new stars and to that feeling that only humans could experience: hope.

‘I read about the men that die on those killing fields. Slaughtered, mutilated, burnt and scattered, lost in the mud, their bodies mangled by tanks and landmines. Promise me. Promise me you will die a beautiful death, if that shall be your fate. Promise me.’

The man looked at his woman, and she looked at her man. ‘I’d rather die a glorious death,’ the soldier said.

‘There is no glory out there, even if the fight is a necessary one. The only glory we have on this earth is between us, between our bodies and souls, united as one, walking together towards our eternal home.’ His wife paused as the wind blew so strongly that any words were covered by a deafening howl. ‘Promise me that you will die a beautiful death.’

They both closed their eyes, visualising their wedding day: the warm sunlight beaming inside an small stone chapel somewhere in the English countryside, the white dress shining like the wings of an angel, the dark blue suit, imposing and royal, the organ playing its glory to God, their hands held together, each one feeling the heart beats of their partner before the altar, vowing to become alone together.

‘I promise,’ he said as they both opened their eyes.

Another desperate howl from the ship that was soon to be turned to smithereens by torpedoes.

Fifty years have passed since their meeting on that British port and the soldier’s body is still missing, lost in the annals of history, buried in the crying earth, turning into oil and becoming just another reminder that what is beautiful does not belong to this world and thus, it cannot be kept in it.