0: prologue, snail mail
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'When this reaches you, I will be two continents over.

Today, too, there is nothing of note. It’s all desert and wasteland – nothing new, though neither my men nor I care to venture further. It’s with regret I cannot send you a photo. The skies are much more vibrant here. Perhaps you’d find joy in excavating such ruins – I do not understand your strange hobbies and yet, I indulge you so.

That aside, my intel tells me you’ve gone up north some days ago. I will appeal for your platoon to withdraw early. I do not wish for you to be out so far from our home. I have told you every time to take care of your body, do not work so hard, and take maternity leave. In other words, go back and wait for me.

If I had to be more specific, I love you.'


'My dear,

I write to you, bittersweet. My platoon had endured a ferocious battle, leaving forty-two dead and I…am the sole survivor. I felt repentance, but only for a second… I am terrible but truly, I want to survive. I want to see you.

When I saw death, I thought about the name of our child.'


A scream erupts. There is clatter and the thudding of footfall, then there is chaos, the sounds of glass breaking, the sound of the nurses rushing out, more screaming, horrified gasps and no clear-headed instructions. The patient’s heartbeat remains regular on the monitor even as she’s surrounded by the clamor. Unfazed – almost like she’d already known the outcome.

The door bangs open. The man who enters has midnight black hair and a startling pair of cold, black eyes. He has on a green combat shirt slicked with sweat and blood. He blocks the exit, and no one dares to get past him.

“L-Lieutenant…” The nurses start calling out to him, but he ignores all of them.

He runs over to the woman on the bed. She greets him with a light smile.

Caramel blonde hair, light blue eyes – a stark contrast from her lover whose personality is as intimidating as his noir. He relaxes when he sees her. The atmosphere is still stifling, and everyone is watching his next move, their eyes glued to the gun on his back. Fully loaded.

The man brushes back a lock of her hair and presses a soft kiss on her forehead.

“You are back,” she says with a smile.

“Just now,” he responds.

The man looks at the newborn baby in her arms. His expression cracks a little – imperceptibly, but his wife is sharp-witted enough to know it. The beautiful woman hooks an arm around his neck and pulls him gently toward her.

“My dear,” she whispers, “will you name him instead?”