Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it… -Matthew 7:13-14
I have never been one to ask questions. I was never taught to ask. I never had very many questions anyway. I don’t overthink things because I don’t see the purpose. I do what it takes to survive and protect my fellow soldiers but no more. I was never consumed by questions. I don’t wonder about things. No one around me questions. No one overthinks. No one wonders. No one shows that they wonder…
I was taught to obey. I was taught that obeying is doing the right thing because my orders are the right thing.
I am the commanding officer of an operation defending our own food supply and attacking other food supplies. We are one of twenty-three known townships; eighteen of which we are allied with.
Every night I sit on a perch waiting for anything to move before I allow open fire. Everyday I ordain and direct troops to gather food from our enemies. Our enemies are large in number, but we are larger. We outnumber them five to one. I ordain at least two operations a month to raid their hordes. I do so by inclination of the general of our township.
I grew up with the same inclination from my teachers, my parents and my fellow kits. In camp I was taught to despise our enemies. My body was forced to be hardened and they had the same intention for my heart. It would have worked…but I had one question…
One question consumed my every waking day. A single question that filled the absence of all others: Why are my enemies my enemies? They never told us why. They simply taught us to hate and fight. I wondered at this. One question prevented the evolution of my whole self. I still fight. I fake hate. But no one knows. And they wont.
I graduated from camp. I was promoted to commanding officer. They still don’t know. And they wont. Yet one question invites more questions. I wonder if anyone else wonders like I do. I wonder if anyone else has failed to evolve. If they are determined to act as if they don’t question.
I should say I had never questioned…until now. A dunce turned into a philosopher.
I might be a philosopher now. I don’t know. They shamed the idea of philosophy and prohibited if from being taught. I might imagine this to be philosophy though.
And so I continue thinking and deducting and questioning and wondering in the solitude of my mind.
I sit at my perch, watching the sun sink below the valley as the curfew alarm is sounded within the walls of the township. My men are patrolling below while I sit on a tower as a sniper. My second in command stands beside me at attention. She carries a machine gun at her side. I glance at her face. Her face gives no indication that she is questioning. I stare at her eyes. Her eyes are hard. They say the eyes are windows to the soul. Her soul is hard.
A small breeze comes whisking through the air. It blows her blonde hair to the side. She blinks. Her gaze falters when she realizes I’m staring at her. She lets out a small breath. I quickly turn away.
The sky is darkening. My eyes are sharp, but now so are my thoughts. As I watch for anything abnormal, my mind races. Because of my one question, more questions always arise. I wonder why my enemies are my enemies. I wonder if they think we are their enemies. If they are our enemies, wouldn’t we be theirs? And if we are theirs, would we be the villains?
I was always taught to hate them and fight them because I would be fighting for good. I do my job because it’s the right thing to do. The people around me, although they are hard and they hate, they do it because it’s the right thing. I protect my township. My entire operation’s purpose is to protect and provide for the people living within. I fight evil. Which is exactly my problem. So do my enemies.