One day I was playing chess with Anto. He was six years older than I was and had just a few weeks until he was going to exchange his uniform for civilian clothes. He was an intelligent man who worked as an engineer in a shipyard, and did he not believe
inthe lies the state media was feeding us withevery day. He told me that our country was in such debt that it would not take many years until the whole economy was bankrupt. I felt he was the only person I could talk to openly about my feelings and told him how I was getting depressed and frustrated because I did not know how I was going to manage to live though the coming months. Anto chuckled, waved his hand and said, “Mate, do you think I’m enjoying being here? Is it fun to be told off by a bumpkin who only yesterday tended sheep and goats and now because of his corporal rank believes he is more important than a general? But I’ll tell you, if you believe you have it difficult, wait until you see the Lieutenant. He is probably on holiday or sick leave, but he’ll return. My advice to you is to give him a wide berth whenever you can.”
I wished to ask him more about the Lieutenant, but two soldiers came up and sat beside us, and I turned my attention to the game, trying to figure out how to save my queen from Anto’s attack.
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