A nurse stands to my right, drawing blood from my arm as the dream fades into the deepest recesses of my mind. Sophie’s face lingers in front of my eyes for a moment before dissipating into the harsh fluorescent light.
Lloyd has disappeared too. The chair he’d occupied has been taken by Sergeant Major Peters, who looks at me with sympathy– not pity– etched across his irises.
He waits until the nurse moves on to another patient before saying, “Private Kor,” His voice is heavy and his eyes glisten slightly. “You have been hereby honorably discharged. America thanks you for your service.” He sighs at the formalities. Looking me straight in the eyes he says, “I’m sorry, Adam. The doctors were forced to amputate your left leg due to a sepsis infection so I’m afraid you won’t be able to fight with our troop anymore. You’ll be sent home in a few days.” He stands, keeping his eyes locked on mine. “You were an invaluable team member; as brave and dedicated as they come. I’m sorry to let you go like this but there’s no way you can continue to fight in your current condition.” He takes a few steps before stopping and adding, “And I’m also sorry about the loss of Private Royals. I know how close you two were and her presence will be missed along with yours amongst the troop.
Then he is gone.