A reconnaissance soldier escapes from his camp. He hates the regimentation. He hates the barbed wires. He journeys northwards, never once looking back. He chances upon a rocky terrain of mountains. He desires to climb and reach for the highest summit. He wants to see the world clearly, from the top. He takes days, and eventually, months, to get to the top.
Once he was on top, he looks down and he marvels. He sees the distant rivers and lakes as small squiggly blue lines found on maps. He sees patches of pastures, one after the other. He feels like he was close to God but he knows, he wasn’t. He knows, God had created the very mountains he was standing on and he was grateful. The mountains was God’s gift to him.
As he looks further down, he sees his company marching up along the mountains, heading north. They were like a blob of green. All three hundred of them. Moving at a single heartbeat, at a single footstep.
He shifts his gaze further up. He looks beyond the mountains. He sees a battalion of enemy troops, marching up along the mountains as well. He panics. He shudders at the sheer size of the enemy troops. Both sides were heading towards each other. They were bound to meet and engage in bloodshed on the steepest slopes of the mountains.
He doesn’t know what to do. He could dash down and warn his convoy. But knowing his people, they wouldn’t turn back. There was something he hated about them: it was their pride. Knowing that there would be a possibility of battle, they would not turn back. The officer in charge would instruct his men with cheap, motivational words to move forward and faster. And he will be forced to fight alongside them, following them as they march on to the drumbeats of their own doomed death. He knows he would be a dead man.
He could dash down and engage the enemy. He could hold them off, at least for a while with two magazines worth of gunfire in his vest. But he knows it wouldn’t be enough to stop them. And what was the point of being a hero when no one knows you are one? He knows he would be a dead man.
He doesn’t know what to do. So he stands there, at the summit. He stands and he watches. He watches the two sides go head to head.
He stands and he watches as he doesn’t know what to do.