The ceasefire was declared and just like that, the noise and chaos that had constantly made itself a part of my every day stopped. For the first time in weeks, there was peace. But now there was this silence. It seemed so unfamiliar, so unnatural.
I squeeze myself from beneath the pile of rubble that was my post. In the weeks of seemingly endless battle I only dared venture from beneath it to find food or check on my comrades. During those long days and nights, I thought constantly of my friends and family. I have to admit, the idea of deserting my post came to my mind more than a few times, but in the end I stuck it out. Not out of some sense of duty, though. It was because my failure would come at too great a cost. To my loved ones and especially to myself. So I did my job. I held the line. Maybe my reasons were selfish, but sometimes doing the right thing for the wrong reason is good enough.
Now, it was over. At least, for now anyway. Those of us who took part in this war all knew this was only going to be a temporary respite. There would be only a little time to mourn those who had fallen, enjoy what time we could with our loved ones and prepare ourselves for when war was declared again. We prayed the next battle wouldn't be as brutal as this one. The next time we were called to arms, we hoped we'd be ready. But we knew we would have to fight again and sooner than we'd like.
I turn again and take a last look at my makeshift bunker. I hope the next one is stronger and better equipped, but this one managed to stand the test. This pile of books, scribbled notes from classes and printed handouts that had been my place of refuge these last few weeks.
This battle, this semester is over. And I survived.