Ive been thinking of this the whole day. should I tell him? Should I not? Well, I guess I could tell him. Only because I've known my friend Robbie Porter ever since my first day of boot camp. So why should I be afraid? I quickly hid my journal when i saw him walk in. 

"what are you hiding under there bud?" he said with his attractive grin.

"oh, it's nothing." 

"bullshit." he replied. He jumped onto me and wrestled me for my journal but I fought harder. We were laughing as we fought over the little paperback journal. I eventually rolled myself over and pinned him under me. We both had huge smiles on our faces. And I thought now would be the perfect time to do the unthinkable. I leaned in and our lips met. He reacted and literally threw me off of him.

"what the FUCK was that?!?" he screamed in disbelief. I saw his face which was covered in a shocked look.

"I'm.... Sorry." I said looking back at him from the edge of the bed.

"I....I think I'm.... Gay." 

"oh really?!" he howled.

"I understand if you don't want to be around me anymore. No one wants to be seen with me. and that's totally cool." i said a little depressed.

He just got up and left. At least my secret is safe. Or is it? I decided to stop thinking about it and I remembered that we shipped out to Al-Bashkira in 10 minutes. I picked up my standard issue M4 carbine assault rifle and placed it on my cot. I strapped my bullet-resistant vest onto my body over  my jacket. My god it was hot underneath all these layers! But it's something that I need to put up with for my own safety. I strapped on my helmet as well and proceeded out towards my guy's tent. I walked in and all of my men are laying in their cots. 

"let's go boys. We got work to do."

"where we goin' Sarge?" 

"Al-Bashkira. We got ourselves a Taliban camp that we need to obliterate. get your gear and let's get moving."

"sounds like fun Sarge." and with that, all of them stood up and got ready. I left and my men soon followed. We got in the humvees and headed towards the camp. 

"so how many guys we lookin' at Sarge?" 

"were lookin' at 'bout 40 guys in total. 20 in the camp, 10 at the perimeter and 10 in the bunks. " I said over the roaring engine.

"they got no idea what's comin' Sarge."

"calm down Rollins. Nothing is easy over here. I've been here for 3 and a 1/2 years, you can never expect anything to-"

BOOM! the humvee stops.

"ambush!!!"the driver screams.

"defensive positions!" I holler as everyone springs out of the humvees to be greeted by small arms fire. We immediately hid behind the humvee. The first one was obliterated. No chance for any survival. We returned fire as much as we can.

"I'm out!"

"me too."

"no ammo left."

We are screwed. I pulled out my sidearm and started to shoot at them. I hit three of them and then I ran out of ammo for that. The men approached us with their weapons drawn. I jumped back into the humvee and reached under my seat and pulled out another rifle. It was actually a pump action shotgun but it'll work. I loaded seven rounds into it and sneaked back behind the humvee.

"stay quiet." I said looking back at my men. I sneaked around to the back of the humvee. I took a deep breath and waited until the enemies got closer. I heard them whisper and I stepped out from cover. I pulled the trigger, hitting one guy in the head. I walked past the body and fired another shot. I hut another and killed him instantly. I shot 3 more times and killed two more and injured one. I walked over to the injured one and shot him. I walked back to the humvee and told my men to get back in the vehicle and We headed back to camp. 

"Lima-Charlie 1! Lima-Charlie 1! This is mobile 2! Come in! Over."

"mobile 2, this is Lima-Charlie 1. Over." they respond to my call.

"we lost mobile 1 to IED explosion, area secured for engineers. Proceeding back to base. over" I said in a response.

"copy, mobile 2. Lima-Charlie 1 out." I put the radio back and we returned back to base a short while after. I climbed out as the engineer trucks sped past me and kicked up sand and dirt. I closed the door behind me with my shotgun in my hand and noticed Robbie heading to the mess tent. 

"Robbie!" I said reaching out to grab his forearm. He pulled it away from me.

"don't touch me!" he said angrily.

"look, I'm sorry. I didn't know what got into me, man. I just felt... That maybe you would still think of me as a friend."

"you kissed ME. I'm not gay Like you... So just leave me alone." he sneered. I watch my friend walk away from me when I needed him most. I hope he doesnt tell anyone. I can't think about what could happen. I walked back to my tent with the gun still in hand and threw it on the ground as I closed the tent door. I went to grab my journal when it had disappeared. Where is it?! I thought to myself. I ripped apart the entire insides of my tent looking for it. It was my only link to some kind of stability in this god-awful war over nothing. What if someone found it? I hear a knock on my door. It was Robbie.

"looking for this?" he said with my journal in his hand. 

"nobody read it right?" I said worriedly.

"oh, only a few people." he said. Thought I could trust him with everything thats mine. I guess I was wrong. I snatched my journal away from him and walked to the MESS tent to get something to eat. Everyone was staring at me as I entered in. I gathered a small plate of food and walked over to an empty table. 

"hey sergeant fagstick!" I heard one of the men say. I turned around and it was private Harper. He didn't respect authority. 

"I'll tell you one time private, you will not speak to me like that. And that's an ORDER!" I barked at him angrily. When I sat down, Lieutenant Broxton was sitting across from me.

"you people disgust me!" he screamed.

"you think faggot-ass soldiers have a right to serve in this batallion?!" he said pushing me onto the floor. I look up at the large man, and see hate swelling up in his eyes.

 He picked me up and forced me against a tent post.

"your kind doesn't deserve to fight with us!" and with that he punched me in my gut so hard, I felt everything inside me move. I scream a little at the pain and fall to my knees still grabbing my stomach.

"oh would you look at that? Little faggot boy can't take a punch." he said mocking me. I couldn't even lift my head up because of the immense pain. And Lieutenant Broxton kicked me in the gut twice.

He was going to kick me a third time when I heard a gun click. He froze completely. I would too if I had a Colt .45 pistol aimed at the back of my head.

Robbie was the one holding the gun.

"kick him again, and I'll blow your head all the way to Pakistan."

Lieutenant Broxton backed off and Robbie helped me back to my tent. He laid me down on my bed.

"I'm ok Robbie. Thanks for your help." I said climbing onto my bed.

"I'm sorry." he said with a look of guilt over his face. "I wasn't thinking about our friendship. And I wanna apologize." he said with sadness in his eyes.

"come here." I said. I embraced him close. His warmth was so intoxicating.. His scent was a masculine one, And it was very strong. I started to get hard. He quickly backed up away from me. I blushed.

"sorry." I said a little embarrassed.

"naw, dude. It's alright." he said with a smile on his face. I saw something twinkle in his eyes. What was it? I will soon find out. 

 

Josh Volland

[email protected]

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