He ran as he’d never run before, with neither hope nor despair. He ran because the world was divided into opposites and his side had already been chosen for him, his only choice being whether or not to play his part with heart and courage. He ran because fate had placed him in a position of responsibility and he had accepted the burden. He ran because his self-respect required it. He ran because he loved his friends and this was the only thing he could do to end the madness that was killing and maiming them. He ran directly at the bunker where the grenades from Jake’s M-79 were exploding. The bullets from the M-60 machine gun slammed through the air on his right, slashing past him, whining like tortured cats, cracking like the bullwhip of death. He ran, having never felt so alone and frightened in his life.
She would never know, because he would never tell her. Somehow if she’d known the worst parts, she couldn’t have gone on being a haven for him. He was groping for an idea that he couldn’t quite grasp. Men said they didn’t tell their women about France because they didn’t want to worry them. But it was more than that. He needed her ignorance to hide in. Yet, at the same time, he wanted to know and be known as deeply as possible. And the two desires were irreconcilable.