LeBeau and Newkirk stared in silence as they leaned against the outer wall of Barracks 2, watching the unfolding scene.
It’s not that they weren’t grateful for the American tanks rolling into Stalag 13 and liberating it. Indeed, it was odd that the one thing they had wanted and cherished above all else–freedom–was now theirs, and yet…
It meant that it was over.
Oh, the war wasn’t over–not yet, but they were hopeful that would be coming true soon.
But what they had here, in Stalag 13, their own, little Resistance that they had kept on going since the winter of ‘42–that little Resistance that had allowed them to help their besieged home countries from within enemy territory–was now over.
They knew that Carter had finished setting the dynamite charges on their tunnels and radio equipment; they’d be on their way home by the time the traces of their base of operations would be permanently obliterated.
And though on the surface it was all “Good riddance!” and “Blimey, it’s going to be great going back ‘ome, innit?” there was something else beneath it–the knowledge that they would be going back to different armies, different countries, and trying to pick up the pieces of lives they had left behind years ago.
LeBeau glanced up at his English friend–the first of many friends he had made during their time here. Newkirk responded by resting an arm on the shorter Frenchman’s shoulder.
It won’t be a permanent goodbye, Little Mate. Not if I have a say in it, he silently transmitted.
Oui. It is only au revoir, LeBeau returned with just a glance.
They continued to watch, silently, wondering what the future would hold.