A Senator's Heart Is Drafted

A woman exits a coffee shop and looks up and down the street and it is all but deserted, save for a lone-parked car and a young child bouncing a ball. She observes the child for a while and then slowly walks towards him. As she begins to approach the child, a card falls into his hands and the ball knocks the child over and he begins to cry. The woman stalls for a second, and then quickens her pace in an attempt to comfort the young boy who is seemingly only about two or three years old. Finally, she is close enough to be able to see two words on the card and she slows down, now more curious then concerned. The two words read clearly “DRAFT CARD”. She looks at the child now and observes that the hair looks familiar, and as she moves closer, the name and date on the draft card become visible and she is immediately shell shocked as she reads over and over the name and date on the card. It reads clearly, “Brandon Lorne: draft date July 16, 2028”, the name and birthday of her son. She reads this and the shock of it after a few moments eventually…

She woke up abruptly, sweating profusely and out of breath. It took a moment for her to regroup and at last she caught her breath. Her phone went off on her nightstand and as she opened it, it read “July 16, 2012: Draft Vote Today”. She thought back to the dream, of witnessing the horrible sight on the draft card; she began to dread the day, even though leading up to it she had previously been so adamant in implementing the draft. The date on the phone also reflects the dream, in that today is Brandon’s second birthday, where the dream expressed his 18th birthday. She sits and considers her dream for a while, but finally begins her daily routine by going in to kiss Brandon good morning. After her dream, she sought to see and hold him even more than usual and spent extra time rubbing his hair and singing in a low voice to him. He quickly fell back asleep in her arms, and she placed him back on his bed.

Deanne Lorne smiled at her boy for a moment as he slept and then exited quietly and began to get ready for the long day ahead. She made herself a cup of coffee and ate a muffin as she sat and read the local newspaper articles on today’s Senatorial vote. There were a few articles against the vote criticizing Senator Lorne and her supporters intent to have the draft, claiming, “She doesn’t put herself in a parent’s position: She doesn’t care about having a draft because her son is not of age to be drafted”. She read this and thought for a moment about her dream, but shrugged it off remembering why the draft was needed. She then went back upstairs and got her son dressed and made him some breakfast as she prepared to drive him to his babysitter. On the drive over Brandon was quiet and was innocently looking out the windows at the passing cars and buildings in the crowded city of Washington D.C. She was trying to focus on her own thoughts and the speech that she was to give that day, but she couldn’t help allowing random thoughts of her dream and the newspaper accusations to cross her mind for a moment or two before she refocused. Eventually, she made it to the babysitter’s home and gave her son a long hug and kiss on the forehead as she left him for the day.

The Senate meeting was about to begin and there was unrest among all who were in attendance. She reviewed the issues for the morning session with her team so they were all on the same page. That morning was a last ditch attempt to claim any who were unsure of voting for or against the draft. Because of this, they had to be sure they were crisp in their points for the vote scheduled for the second session to take place after the lunch break.

As the meeting dismissed for lunch, and she departed the Senate Chamber, all who were on her team, or had been convinced to join her side, congratulated her great debating talent and thorough thoughts. This made her very confident that she was finally going to achieve success in the goal she set out to achieve over a year ago, following the attack on the United States. As usual, she went alone to her favorite diner for lunch where she ordered a small salad and coffee to get her by until dinner. She was very excited, but with all the stress that this mission had entailed thus far, she finally was ready to feel relaxed. She allowed herself to sit back and rest her head on the booth’s cushion.

Deanne was again with her team as they convened for the vote on the draft, but she wandered outside by herself to relax before the vote, seemingly satisfied. As she exited the building, the surroundings did not appear to be D.C. at all, the ground was sand and the air was dry. She was on the streets of Iran and dust was everywhere. There were two U.S. soldiers walking by who appeared young, about eighteen years of age. She was able to see their nametags that read “Johnson” and “Lorne”. She was looking at her son in the future as a U.S. soldier, as a draft card with his name on it appeared in her hands. She was numb for a moment, when suddenly she heard a loud explosion. The two soldiers began taking fighting positions when the soldier named Johnson was shot in the leg and couldn’t move. Her son made an attempt to rescue him and she witnessed her son take three bullets from an AK-47 to the chest. He fell to his knees, looked up at her as if at last recognizing her, and then fell down and died. As he slowly fell to the ground there were voices everywhere, as if right next to her even though no one was there, saying, “Now you know how we feel!” “What if it were your son?” “Who do you think you are sending other parents’ children to war?” Then she looked up and saw herself standing over her dead son’s body. Her apparition looked up at her and said, “You bitch, you’ve gotten my son murdered!”

The alarm on her phone woke her up again, as she was gasping for breath due to a dream for the second time that day. She was now extremely frightened and began to think if what she was trying to do was right.
As she reentered the Senate Chamber with her team gathered around her, she was next to them, but was distant in thought, saying little and only responding in one-word answers. She attempted to put herself in the position of a parent with a child, 18 years of age, as a vote to implement the draft is taking place, to see how they would feel about it.

The time to vote was nearing as all took their seats. The leader of the Senate began to speak as he asked if anyone wanted to offer a closing argument. She sat there, puzzled, lost in her own thoughts and was not paying mind to anyone around her. Finally, her close friend John Michaels, who had supported her throughout her campaign to achieve this moment, grabbed her and asked if she was ready to finally succeed in their long endeavor. She looked at him for a moment in lost thought and then stood up abruptly pushing her chair back and said “If I may make one last statement, a statement that may incur criticism from my supporters, but will alleviate the concern of parents nationwide!”

Deanne went on for some ten minutes on a heart felt speech that she made up as she went along in opposition to the draft. Many who were convinced earlier were now confused and didn’t know which side to support. Those who had believed in her views all along were now upset and disappointed at the fact that she could commit such a deed right before the vote was to take place. The leader of the assembly observed the commotion in the audience and after some time ordered silence. He announced that the vote would be rescheduled for the following month so that no one would second-guess his or her vote.

Deanne felt sorry and attempted to apologize to those who had previously supported her, but many ignored her off as if she wasn’t there. Although this hurt her inside, she knew it was to be expected. She left the meeting urgently so that she could be with her son whom she now instinctively needed to hold. On the drive over, her mind raced about whether her change of heart was the correct one. However, once she saw her son again, she knew she had made the only decision she could have. She now knew that as a parent, she wouldn’t want to have to force her son, or any person’s child, to go to war and possibly never return home.