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10 Minutes on a parade square.

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10 minutes to go. A slight trickle of perspiration fell slowly down my neck as I looked up. Stern. The austere stares that confronted me did little to hide the nerves; no happy times now. Let?s concentrate. This is serious. This defines lives. Why we all tried to hide it I have no idea. It was a case of proving we weren?t scared, showing we were the ones for who this didn?t matter, looking at ease. But the tension was palpable in the way it gripped all our stomachs and in the silence that preserved every second as an eternity. I tried riding over it with a sly grin. It didn?t work. There was solidarity at least. ...read more.


But there?s no use thinking like that, not today. I stood silently, thoughts surpassing my mind. This was a battle of everything we had worked so hard to achieve. There would either be a bullet or a bomb with our names on it, or there wouldn?t be. Every nerve ending in my body was like a live wire. Nerves were slowly taking over. I just went through the various procedures in my head. Made it mechanical, checked I had everything, tried not to think. I looked up from my watch. A deep sigh. Nerves held my stone stare into the far distance. It started slowly, before rising to a crescendo that consumed everything. What if I did something wrong? ...read more.


I hardly think I would have noticed the difference. One minute to go.... One minute to go.... But then what is it for? This whole culture. This whole big extravagant lifestyle. All that work and all that future, comes down to one fifteen minute stint on a dusty parade square. But now wasn?t the time for that. I would save my splurge of excitement mixed with emotions of anxiety for when the pressure was off. As we all marched on in our roughly worn uniforms, the promises and reassurances and endless trivialisation of sergeants bearing little consequence, we all knew that this would define so much of our future. I now could understand the point of all the work we had done. It came down to this. They roared our names through the un-swept hangar. 218 were declared winners, champions at that. ...read more.

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