“Who were you before the war?”

“Gosh, I don’t even remember before the war anymore. It’s been so long.”

There was a heavy pause before the Sergeant shared his story. The entire squad moved in a little closer. There had been an air of mystery about their leader since they left the Great Hole. He hadn’t shared anything about himself, not even his first name. They called him Sergeant, that was it.

Everyone had their idea about the Sergeant. Tony thought that he was a long time soldier, keeping humble so that he didn’t make a stupid mistake. Arnold thought the Sergeant was a business man of some kind, the way he could talk someone into doing the most dangerous thing was unnerving. Patrick had some strange ideas about him being a butcher or boxer, some job that praised the brutality of man and violent efficiency of the knife.

I hadn’t shared my thoughts. The other guys had good reason to think that they were right, but those ideas seemed too simple to me. The Sergeant was a more complex man than that. But no one was prepared to deal with the reality of who he was.

“I’m a florist.”


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