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General McAtrney was rapidly tapping his feet against the polished floor of the hospital, waiting for the most important sentence of his life to come from the doctor's lips.
"Stupid polished floors" he thought to himself. "Why can't they be dirty?" He wiped his sweat line that was growing on his forehead onto his sleeve. He threw the sweat down on the floor in a jerky motion and put his head back into his hands because covering his face with his hands made him feel safe, like how a child feels safe when he covers himself with a blanket to hide from the dark. The last few months of WW2 had been brutal. He remembered his trademark smile and how it had vanished in a matter of months. His nickname among his freinds was "Smiles". But, after Normandy, he had not smiled yet.
It was going on an hour since he last saw the doctor. McArtney was nervous, anxious. He wanted to get this over with soon. He had made up his mind to look through the room window and check on his freind. Just as he stood up, however, the door slowly creaked open and out stepped a nurse laden with a nice white dress and cap. She looked stunned.
"What is wrong?" McArtney asked with a scared expression on his face. This was one of the first times in months that he has shown any emotion on his face. Just grueling, day-to-day work that mentally attacks a person. But McArtney was mentally strong and knew how to defend those attacks.
"Tell me!" McArtney grabbed the nusre by her shoulders and shook her violently.
"SIR, HE IS DEAD!" she screamed before she took off. It took a few seconds, but McArtney's mind finally broke down s the resounding words hit him. He couldn't stop the tears. But, as he did many times before, he trudged toward his biggest opponent yet. He opened the door and found his bud motionless on the makeshift hospital bed.
McArtney didn't know what to do. He stared at Michael Fitz for a while. Then he sat and cried for the first time in years.
Once he got over his sadness, the cliche's started pouring into his head.
"Why does this have to happen to me? Why? After all I've gone through....helping people....serving my country...why?"
He knew those thoughts sounded very childish but he didn't care. Maybe he wanted to be a child. To hide under his covers....to be back at home under his nice, warm covers....
McArtney looked helplessly around and found a note on the desk next to his freind's body. He knew that it was unmistakeably Michael's hand-writing.
He picked it up and examined it. Finally he grew the courage to read it.
I know that this will be my last thing that I "say" to you. But hear me out. The doctors did evrything they could. Don't blame them. Blame that dumb so-called angel Hitler. He's (if you can even call him that....more like an it) the one that got us into this mess. If it weren't for him, I would not be on my deathbed. But, then again, if it weren't for him, I would have never gotten to know you! Who would have guessed that me, a New York high life would make freinds with you, a Texas farmer? Who would have guessed that? Nobody. But Hitler made that. And that will be the only thing that I can thank him for in the afterlife." McArtney cried even moore, but he continued on.
"Now, if I know you right, you are crying right about now. Awww, did I break the big tough guy's iron personality? Haha! I am victorious! That's been my dream since I met you! Well, now I can add this to my long list of stories that I've shared with you. Oh, man did we have some good memories! Like, remember that time when we were in Africa serving for the militia and we broke into a bar and stole some drinks? Whew! Did that baby tender get mad or what when he caught us in the back alley! But we sure did have a good time. But those African drinks sure are nice! Haha! Did those things give us some good times or what? Or like that time in Normandy, after the invasion, when we spent the day on the beach partying with th locals? I can't even remember any of those people's names, but I remember that a few of those drinks really turned you into a party animal! Boy, was The Colonel mad when he saw how wasted we were th next day! I also remember the time when we shot those AKs into the mist and later two Nazis came to us and surrendered! Haha! Anyway, the point is to look at the past, not my death. I really don't know how to end this, bud. I can feel the death creeping over me. I guess I'll end this by just saying that I had some good times with you. I'm really glad that I got to know you. I hope you did, too. Oh, and General, can you smile for me? I know the last few months of the war have taken their toll on you, but I remember yo always used to smile, even in the evil face of danger. I love that smile. Can you smile one more time for me? Thanks, Smiles.
Signing out 1 last time,
General Michael Fitz
P.S. Open the shades in the room, will ya? I want to have a bright obituary picture. Those black-and-whites really make things dull. Can't wait until color photos come out!"
By the end of the letter, McArtney had stopped crying. In fact, he couldn't resist the smile creeping onto his lips.
"Darn it, Mike. Always gotta use humor, even on your deathbed?" he thought to himself. He smiled for the first time in months. And he got a warm feeling inside. Suddenly, he looked at Mike again and swear that he saw a smile etched onto the lips of his best pal, his warmate, his mentor. Through the curly strands of his beard, a smile was definitely under there somewhere. John McArtney opened the shades and let the warmth flow in.