Last Time

Seeing OB for the last time, moving him, my desire to be the one to take care of him in those final moments together. At least he never saw it coming. I have to think hard to see OB as he was in life, happy always smiling. Instead, my first thought is his poor battered face after we pulled him from the vehicle. The massive gash from lip almost to eye rendering him monstrous. As much as I my heart sank when I found out it was him, I never loved him more than when we prepared his body for the casevac. Placing him inside the black body bag, and carrying him onto the bird poised in the terraced fields like a grasshopper waiting to spring from our valley to the next. The weight of him in that bag, so heavy, the handle digging into the battered and calloused skin of my gloveless hands. Despite the pain in my hand, I never wanted mine and OB’s last walk to end. The same way I never wanted a conversation with him to end.

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