The wind did not intend to help the platoon leader convey his voice, but his voice penetrated the ranks without any reservation.


He said, we can only see him for fifteen days, and we will never see him outside of these fifteen days in our entire lives. It was almost a bit ruthless, leaving no room for nostalgia.

He stood at the front of the line, glanced at the deputy platoon leader - as he usually did - and then swept his gaze from the ground to us, “Up until now, I can’t call out the name of any of you. Do you know why? It’s not that I can’t remember, I just don’t want to remember…” Where is he going with this?

As thoughts swirled in my mind, I recalled what the instructor during high school military training once said, “When I was camping in the mountains of the northwest, patrolling the forest with a comrade on guard duty, we talked about our families… My heart felt a pang, and tears started to trickle down.”

I seemed to begin to understand the platoon leader’s intention - this is a commemoration meant for forgetting.

I wonder, after some time has passed, when he remembers us, his comrades of fifteen days, will he miss us intensely? Will he shed tears of longing? If so, it might be better to forget.

With this in mind, these fifteen days become even more precious. People will eventually forget, but the memory of true feelings will linger in this windless summer.

August 2018, Fudan University