Inspired by The Ghost Of You video but different. On a school trip to a cemetery for the fallen, a teenager finds 5 graves...
World War Two. 1939-1945.
The words were written in just barely legible writing on the whiteboard that was at the front of the dull, characterless classroom.
“Who can tell me anything about World War Two?” asks my slightly overweight, middle aged History teacher, Mrs. Flanders.
Silence. People either don`t know, or are simply not interested. I know, but I do not want to raise my hand. I`m too frightened.
“Fayth, do you know anything?” she calls on me. Great. I sigh, giving up. “What do you want to know miss?” I know a lot about war, not just the 2nd world war, but a lot of others. My father is in the military, you see. It means we have to move a lot and I don’t have time to make friends, but I don’t really mind. I prefer being on my own to be honest. That way no one can hurt you, and you don’t have to leave anyone behind.
“Anything, you know Fayth.” The teacher looks at me, slightly confused by my attitude. Then, her expression changes, as she remembers who I am and the situation regarding my father.
I begin to speak, mouth dry, causing my voice to sound very croaky. “World war two was a global conflict, lasting from 1939 to 19545. Many of the causes for this Great War date back to the First World War which started in 1914 and ended in 1918. Many children, pregnant women and some others, such as the disabled were evacuated to the countryside due to the Blitz- the heavy bombing of large British towns and cities.” All of my class mates turn to me; many of their jaws have dropped. I may sound as though I have swallowed a textbook, but this is what I have been taught since I was a young child. I found History so interesting, something no one else in this school did.
“Very good.“ Even the teacher seems slightly surprised at my knowledge. “Before you go class, I am to tell you about a school trip that is scheduled a month tomorrow. For the trip we will be visiting some of the graves of the soldiers that fought in the war.” I do the math in my head, the 11th of November.
The bell rings, signalling the end of class. “Dismissed.” As we all make our way out of the room, Mrs. Flanders hands us each letter with more details about the trip on it.
“Those wishing to go must hand in their permission within a fortnight.”
11th November. Date of the trip.
It was the 11th November and myself and a few of my classmates had finally arrived at one of the cemeteries for the fallen in the world wars. Stepping of off the couch, I feel a chill in the air. I zip up my black and red jacket and walk over to where my teacher is standing, handing out what appear to be blank sheets of paper and clipboards.
“I want you all to write down what you have learnt over the past few weeks about the Second World War and to then write about what being here, in this cemetery makes you feel.” She explains to the bewildered looking teenagers.
“You have 1 hour.”
Is it always this cold here? I wonder, digging in my backpack for a pen. Most of the others have stuck in small groups, so I take a sow walk to a part of the cemetery where no one else is.
The whole place is really eerie, but I am not someone who gets frightened easily. Though, I wouldn’t really say I feel frightened, just…odd, like I`m being watched.
I continue walking, and come to a part of the cemetery where there is a slight hill. Overlooking the hill is an old gnarly looking tree. There are five graves there, worn slightly from age and the weather. Curious, I walk closer.
“Bob Bryar.” The first ones read “Much loved, brave and loyal to his friends. Will be missed.” I shiver.
“Michel…” My voice shakes. I am unable to read his last name, the gravestone, although being no older that the others, has been damaged a lot by the weather. “An amazing younger brother, friend and husband.” I assume these are his friends, but who is his brother? I glance over at the next grave.
“Gerard Way. Much loved, crazy older brother of Mikey. A great husband and soon to be father.” I smile sadly, I had found the brother. “Mikey.” That must have been a nickname. Then my smile fades as I realise something. Gerard died before his child was born; his child grew up without ever knowing him. I feel as though I can relate to this child, for I could not remeber my mother-she died serving her country as well. I had grown up with my grandparents, who had recenty died.
"Frank Iero. Crazy and hyper. An amazing friend, husband and father."
I wipe away a tear and look at the last grave.
“Ray Toro. Will be remembered, if not for his lovely personality, his hair.” I smile a little at that. Then I see the date of birth and death on his gravestone. I gasp; the poor guy was only 18 when he died. I turn towards the others, similar ages. More tears leak from my green eyes.
Do not cry…Fayth…we are happy…
I freeze. Has it gotten even colder? I ask myself as I glance at my watch. I am shocked to find that I have been sitting here, reading the gravestones for over 40 minutes. I only have 20 left to do my work.
I hastily scribble down some facts that I learnt about the 2nd world war, then pause, searching for the right words to describe how this cemetery makes me fell.
“Class, time to go!” I hear Mrs. Flanders call. I write down a handful of words, whisper a goodbye to the 5 dead men whom I feel so close to, and run to join the rest of the class.
“Have you got your paper, Fayth?” she asks and I hand her it.
She looks at me oddly, and then smiles.
“An A dear. On your paper.” She explains seeing my confused look.
I smile gratefully and get on the couch, feeling…calm…peaceful, for the 1st time in long while.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.