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The story of Will

I want to tell you a story /b/. The story of a guy I met by chance who turned into the greatest friend. A friend I consider a hero and the best human being I've ever had the fortune to meet.

>be me
>be 18
>be 2002
>live in small-middle sized town all my life
>never a popular kid
>always had a problem with confidence
>always the shy kid at school. the anti-social freak
>spend most of my time indoors playing vidya games or watching tv
>even after high school still be a nerd
>i had a few friends. most of them just as nerdy and antisocial as i was but we were okay together
>play vidya games together. get drunk in our houses and eat pizza
>never go out
>never party
>never work
>only one of us drove. a kid from my street with greasy hair
>theres 5 of us in total
>one evening we all decide to go for a drive into the town to grab a macdonalds or whatever (bear in mind this was almost 11 years ago (yes im 29)

>afterwards. we go to a store and pick up some booze and go for a drive up this hill that has this brilliant view ofthe sunset
>we get there and drink. noone else around. starting to watch the sun drop beloew the horizon
>one of my friends points out someone walking up the hill in (not american)army fatigues pants and a green short sleeved t shirt and wearing a backpack
>we watch him march straight up the hill towards us
>this hill is pretty steep and atleast a mile walk from the bottom
>he gets to the top and looks at us
>we are stare back at him
>'he looks at his watch and presses a button on it
>hes sweating a lot and pulls out a bottle of water from his pack. glugging down atleast a third of it
>'afterwards he gives us a nod
>"alright lads"

>his accent is unmistakenly british
>i didn’t know then. but now i know its north London (cockney)
>he’s not tall and not short. about average height and had quite beefy muscles but wasn't built like a tank
>us being antisocial morons just stared at him
>he finished off another session with the bottle of water and looked out at the sunset
>"beautiful. aint it? came up here a few days ago and watched it then."
>3 few days ago? this guy walked this a few days ago as well?
>this is what i was thinking at the time. being a fatass that i was i couldn’t understand why someone would regularly do exercise
>he turned back to us. "you fellas live round here then?"
>we nod. one of us tells him the area we all live
>he nods
>"yeah I think i know it. i only got here last week so i dunno much about the layout around here"
>we ask him where he came from
>apparently he'd come over with his parents last week to live here for the next year or so whilst his grandad (a naturalised american)was sick
>he seemed like a pretty cool dude
>his name was Will and he's 18 as well
>he told us where he lived. we all knew it. it was only about a half mile from where we all went to school
>afier about an hour oftalking (it felt like 15 minutes) we offer to give him a ride back
>its dark out now and he accepts
>we drive him back and say our goodbyes. we invited him over to one of our houses the following day for a vidya game session. which he seemed to like the idea of
>the next day
>he comes over. we're already round
>he pulls out a 6 pack of beer and hands it to greasy hair kid
>"cheers for the lifi yesterday mate"
>we all play some vidya and we talk about him
>he wants to go back to england in a years time and join the british army
>why the hell would you want to join the army?
>tells us its always something hes wanted to do
>good pay. roof over your head. pension scheme etc.
>he sells it pretty well actually
>i really like him

>he's super cool and mega chilled about everything and he doesn’t seem like an antisocial nerd at all. yet he’s pretty smart and. i later found out. good at everything the guy tried his hand at
>afier a few hours we decide to get something to eat
>we decide to get a few pizzas. but the place we call up says it isnt delivering
>greesy hairs car is in the shop because he wasted the rear bumper and exhaust when he revered into a wall
>englishman suggests we walk there
>it’s about a mile and it hadnt even crossed our minds
>"come on. it'll do you some good" he said laughing
>me and greesy hair deicde to go with him whilst the others stay at home
>we're walking there and me and greesy haired naturally go to walk around a street we don't go down
>the diversion takes an extra 10 minutes but we don't care
>Will asks us why we dont go down it
>the street is full of blacks and is bascially a haven for a gang
>we explain this to him and he laughs
>"you wont walk down a street because of a few black thugs?"
>he starts to walk down it
>"come on you wimps"
>oh my god, what is he doing
>greasy hair looks at me like he’s crazy
>he looks over his shoulder when he doesn’t hear us following
>"come on! It’s like a 1oom"
>we run to catch up with him
>"are all english people this crazy" i say to him
>he just smirks like it’s a secret or something
>we're walking down and there are atleast halfa dozen black guys out in the street. just hanging about
>they stop and look at us. staring us down
>im wetting myself and by the look of greasy hair so is he
>Will has a pretty calm expression on and just watches them as he walks by
>he watches them until they move past his natual peripheral vision and turns back to the street
>i look back and a few ofthem are still staring at us. a couple are going back inside houses
>my heart is pounding like mad

>we get to the end ofthe street and carry on walking to the pizza place
>im literally shaking i was so scared
>greasy hair has turned white
>Will just flashes us a toothy grin
>"you should see your faces"
>we get the pizza and walk back. he goes to go down the street again
>we protest but he is insistant
>we can see the thugs down the street. there seems to be more ofthem. standing in the middle
>he’s persistent and we agree to follow
>we enter the street and walk about a third down it when they start to move
>some our walking on the opposite side. towards us
>others walk over to the path we are on
>"don’t stop. just keep walking. Don’t break stride"
>Will still has that same calm expression on his face
>the black guys are standing in the middle ofthe path blocking it
>the others on the other side ofthe road have walked behind us and our following
>We are basically boxed in
>we are hiding behind Will and trying to keep in step with him even though we are both clearly crapping ourselves
>will gives them a big smile
>"alright lads. just passing through if ya dont mind"
>they dont move and one ofthem spits infront of him into the ground
>Will stops
> this crazy englishman has really done it now
>Will looks down at the spit then back at the black guy
>he just stares at them for a second
>the group of thugs following us is right behind us now. just watching us
>Will finally speaks. but i wish he hadn’t
>"now you listen to me you cunts. You’re going to eff right off. right now and we're going to walk down this street"
>my stomach flips over inside me
>greasy hair looks like he’s about the pass out
>my limbs go cold
>we are going to die
>the blacks don’t move. a couple look slightly confused. but only for a second
>one of them steps forward right up to Will
>he doesn’t even flinch

>"so youre the main c*nt then. are you. good. fight me. right. now."
>their boss looks back at his homies and laughs
>will takes a step back and takes off his t shirt. tossing it to me
>his has a pistol inside the waistband of his pants
>he takes it out - the blacks reach into their pockets. clearly on high alert - Will takes out the mag. removes the round for the chamber and puts it into the mag
>he gives me the gun and the mag and tells me to hold onto it
>he looks back at them. who are looking serious
>the boss nods and takes off his own shirt
>we all step back and they begin to fight
>both have their hands up in the traditional manner of fighting. guarding against each others attacks
>the boss tries a fewjabs and Will goes straight in. sending about halfa dozen punches in the space of a couple of seconds
>some to the face and some to the body
>they begin to scrap properly
>they fight for a few minutes before the boss catches Will on the side of the head with a punch
>Will falls down to the floor. holding onto a low wall for support
>everyone thinks hes done. including us
>Will slowly pulls himself up and turns back to the guy
>he goes down again
>pulls himself back up
>down again
>back up
>he’s getting good shots in on the boss as well and blood is starting to show on both oftheir bodies and faces
>Will blocks a punch and side kicks him in the side of the knee
>the boss cries out and his knee collapses underneath him
>Will sends in a couple punches into his kidneys and pushes him backwards
>the boss falls to the floor
>both of them are trying to catch breath
>suddenly we hear sirens
>we all turn and a cop car is crawling down the street
>some of the blacks slowly disperse around the place
>Will walks over to the boss and offers his hand to help him up
>he looks up at him
>afier a pretty tense second he takes his hand and Will helps him stand up

>the cop car pulls up at the officers get out
>"afiernoon officers. what can we do ya for?"
>the boss and Will stand there. In front of the two cops. covered in blood and panting heavily
>the cops look them up and down and ask them whats going on. apparently they had reports of a gang fight
>Will just shakes his head and laughs
>the boss sees Will laughing and laughs too
>"nah fellas. just a couple of friends doing some sparring. know what i mean?"
>the officers ask some more questions then get in their car and drive away
>the boss turns to Will
>he tells him that he fights like an "OG" and he respects him because ofthe cops and gun
>he says he can use the street whenever he wants
>he doesn’t say anything to us
>Will thanks him and collects his gun and short from me and we walk on
>by the time we get back to the house me and greasy friend are so hyped we are literally bouncing. recounting the fight with second-by-second commentary
>Will just stays quiet. smiling when we act out our favourite parts ofthe fight
>we walk into the house and everyone sees the blood over his body and his bruised face
>Will just sits down and opens a pizza whilst me and greasy hair tell everyone the story
>noone can believe it. I’m still in shock as well
>we play vidya and mess about until the early hours ofthe morning that night
>at one point everyone is messing about in the rest ofthe house. me and Will are in the living room watching tv

>i ask him about the fight. i don’t understand why he did it. why he even went down the street in the first place
>"listen" he starts "its not about being tough. It’s not about being a matyr. It’s not even about being such an obnoxious jerk that you think you can run the world. there are times when you should fight. and times you shouldnt. walking down the street might be a small thing. but it starts with the small things. if you dont want to fight for the little things in life. how the hell are you going to fight for the big things. It’s not for others. It’s not for world peace or for equality or some other crap. It’s for yourself. It’s so you can get to the end of your days and look back and think. instead of being pushed along with everyone else. doing what others do. thinking what others think. i fought my way here. i pushed everyone who was slowing me down out of the way and i made a b-line directly for what i wanted. so what if i get hurt along the way? so what if i piss some people off. you can’t please everyone in life. even jesus. who did nothing but preach about peace and love pissed people off so much they flicking executed him. if you dont make the effort for yourself. why will anyone else? its all about a state of mind. mate. i didnt have to fight that ideiot. but i choose to because. at the end ofthe day. there ARE those that want to do nothing but mutilate our way off life until its unrecognizable - look at those 9/11 idiots - but are you just going to sit back and watch them or are you going to stand up and say. ‘get the hell out of my way. I AM walking down this street and there aint a thing you can do about it'."
>even years later i didnt understand what he meant

>"why the hell wouldn’t you want to work? It’s how the grow as a person. keeps you disciplined. builds up your skills and gives you some cash in your pocket mate. if you have to be somewhere mon-fri from 9 to 5 it forces you to get out the house and to be on time."
>he helped me look around for a job and i got my first one working in a lawnmower sales/repair shop selling ride-on lawnmowers.
>by the time his year was up. i was a different person
>i had tons of confidence. I’d gotten into shape. was volunteering at a local chairty store a couple days a week. i had met a girl i was in a serious relationship with and had made lots of new friends through work and people i met through Will
>we had a massive party the night before he had to leave
>we held it at my house. my parents were away for the weekend
>the place was packed with people. my old friends were there. being as socially awkward as they’ve always been
>Will got destroyed and crashed out on my bed with a girl he'd met that night
>he woke up the next morning. my house trashed
>all his stuff was packed at his house so he only had to go pick it up and then go to the airport
>i came along for the cab ride
>we arrived at the airport. he was clearly still hung over from the night before
>we shook hands and i wished him luck
>he said he'd email later on in the week and keep in touch and hopefully he’d be able to drop in sometime
>some of his family was still out here so we both thought it was highly likely
>he left. got on the plane and back to england he went
>we stayed in touch for a bit but when he joined the army he had very little time spare and we stop communicating
>years later. I’m married to the girl i was with and she’s expecting our first child
>i get a knock on the door one day and guess who it is
>the crazy englishman from years ago
>"hello mate" he flashed me his toothy grin "how you doing?"
>i was so happy to see him i almost hugged him
>a handshake was all he let me have

>he was out here to see some family whilst on leave and thought he'd drop by
>he came inside and we talked
>he congratulated me and my wife on our baby
>he seemed really proud of me
>we spent the afternoon having a BBQ and just talking about things
>he asked about the other guys. who i said were still doing the same old crap
>he laughed when he heard greasy hair still had the same car
>we talked about his job in the army
>i asked him what he did and he said it was computer based. "boring IT stuff mate"
>he gave me a grin which i didn’t think much of at the time
>apparently he'd been deployed

>he said he loved the life and he never wanted to leave the army
>i asked him if he had a gf or anything
>he shook his head
>"not really. i dont have much time for girls mate. unlike you. you dark horse. does she know about all your women on the side?" he looked over at her and give her a grin which she returned with a sarcastic eye roll and smile
>we talked a bit more and i asked him if he was ever scared of dying
>"only if i die of old age mate"
>i asked him what he meant. surely he'd want a long life
>he shook his head
>"I’ll be honest with you mate. i can’t think of any other way I’d rather die than in battle. i know it sounds stupid to you but I’d rather burn out than fade away. know what i mean?"
>he was right. it did sound stupid to me
>i couldnt think of anything worse than leaving my wife and unborn child
>he stayed in town for the week and dropped in a couple of more times
>then he went back home
>it was brilliant to see him and i really wished he could stay for longer. but thats the way things go
>fast forward a few more years
>me and my wife have our child and she’s expecting a second one now (yeah. i know)
>im 27 now and working full time as a store manager in a francise coffee shop
>I’m in there one day. serving a customer when i hear a thick north london accent fiom the front ofthe shop
>"what do you mean no PG tips?"

>i look over. trying to see who it is. even though i already know
>"alright love. just give us whatever yank substitue for real tea you have". cue laugh
>he looks over and catches my eye. clearly holding in a smile
>"manager. can i have a word?"
>i walk over. trying not to laugh
>"I’d just like to say that I’m very offended you dont have any PG tips tea. how are us brits suppose to get our tea fix. 'ey?
>"I’m very sorry sir"
>"it’s okay. this one can be on the house then. right?"
>i cant help but laugh. he laughs with me
>i take a break and go over to a table to chat with him
>"how did you know where to find me?"
>your mrs let me know...congrats on the new kid. you and her are pumping them out like nike products at a phillipino sweatshop"
>we talk about my work and how everythings been
>i ask him about the army. he tells me its going good
>i feel like he stops short of telling me something
>i press him
>"i moved on a bit. mate"
>i enquire as to what he means
>"just new opportunities mate. a bit more dangerous but its all good fun". he gives me a wink and changes the subject
>i don't press him after that. if he doesn't want to tell. I won’t ask
>i ask him if he's found a girl yet
>"yeah. about a year now. She’s f*cking know"
>he didn't want to say it but i knew he wanted to. he loved her
>"she’s got great ones as well mate". his santa claus laugh shook the table
>typical englishman
>he was over for a couple of weeks this time. he managed to score some leave and wanted to come and see me
>he spent those two weeks staying in our guest bedroom
>we'd go out drinking some nights and stay in watching a football game other nights
>whatever we did. i loved it and had fun. because i was with Will
>to this day i don't know what it was about him. but he gave everyone around him this magic feeling
>he wasn't particularly loud or wanted to be the centre of attention

>he was just the kind of guy that loved fiercly and was passionate about everything - although he'd never let on. he kept his morale and ethical beliefs to himself unlss you really bugged him about them
>the last night he was with us italked to him about the army again
>he'd had a few beers so he seemed a bit more open and relaxed
>"yeah. been to a few places now: afghan. parts of africa. germany. falklands...i was even up in las vegas for awhile - they have the central drone command place up there."
>i asked him the obvious question
>"have you ever killed someone?"
>he laughs
>"i was wondering when you were going to ask that"
>he took a sip of his beer and nodded
>"yeah. i have"
>he didnt elaborate any further than that
>"really? how many?" i was kind of excited. my friend was a soldier. I was just starting to realise that
>he shook his head with a closed-lips smile
>"you can’t ask me that mate. It’s not good etiquette. besides. It’s not like we note down how many ragheads we've slotted everytime we go out on patrol."
>"i thought you were computers and stuff. why are you on patrol at all?"
>he just smiles
>"everyone is a soldier first mate. If they need you to fight. you fight. know what i mean?"
>i wasn’t convinced. but i never really did find out what he did day-to-day
>he was very cagey about it and always use to change the subject or bat me away with humour
>now i think about it. if he didn’t want me to know that badly. i probably wouldn’t have wanted to know
>after the two weeks Will leaves for england
>i get a few emails from him and one day. about a year ago. i get a letter through the mail
>it was a wedding invitation to Will and his wife-to-be’s wedding
>accompanying it was a letter written by him. he really wanted me to come but hed understand I fi couldnt make it. he offered to pay the airline tickets but i told him i wouldn’t give him the satisfaction

>i went with him on his stag night with all his army mates. it was great fun. even though i was a "filthy yank". they all made me feel like id been there forever because I was such a good friend of Wills
>the wedding was brilliant. it was in a beautiful church in the south of england
>beautiful countryside everywhere
>i met his wife. who was a great girl who really was gorgeous...and did really have great tatas
>the reception was great. it was in the village hall where his parents were originally from
>whilst there i got talking to a few of Wills army buddies
>i asked them what they all did
>they said they worked with Will
>when i aksed what that was they all seemed to clam up a bit
>"Will never told you details?"
>"never. he's always been very secretive"
>there was a slight pause in the conversation which they tried to cover up
>"ah well you know how it is mate. probably doesnt want to slip you into a coma with all the details about what it takes to wire up a pc to the army network!"
>they all laugh and a few ofthem get up to go have a dance
>the subject gets changed faster than i can realise what is going on
>afterthe reception i stumble off back to the hotel Will has put us up in with my wife
>my parents are looking after our kids
>we get to the hotel and about half an hour later i get a call
>its Will

>"hello mate. sorry to disturb you so late. i can’t be on long. the mrs is getting ready for the night" he laughed his special laugh down the phone and l couldnt help but smile
>"i just wanted to say im really glad you came and i really enjoyed seeing you again"
>i told him i enjoyed it too
>our flight was the next day so we wouldn’t see him before he went away for the honeymoon
>"email me when you get back from the honeymoon okay?"
>"i will do buddy" he pauses and i can hear a mufiled voice in the background
>"i got to go mate. duty calls" he's still laughing as he hangs up
>i smile to myself and crash out on the bed with my wife
>a few weeks later we're back in the US and carrying on with our lives
>the kids are growing up and i've been given a pay rise at work. life is going great
>about 6 months later i get an email from will telling me his wife is 4 months pregnant
>he’s sent pictures of her huge belly. and even bigger jugs
>i email him back my congratulations
>he tells me we'll have to meet up after the baby is born. he'll bring us overto england again and he can show us around where he lived as a kid in london
>i wish him well and tell him to keep my informed
>five months later. a month ago. and what do you know. It’s a baby boy
>hes named him Samson and he looks just like his dad
>he tells me hes going to sort out a trip for us to come over and see them all
>i tell him to let me know when a good time for him is
>a month goes by and i dont hear anything

>be 29 now
>be yesterday morning
>i get a call from Wills wife
>she tells me to sit down
>there’s a tense note in hervoice
>oh crap…
>i sit down on a chair and ask her whats wrong
>"it’s Will"
>hervoice breaks off and i can hear hertrying to keep it together
>oh please no
>"there’s no easy way...he's dead. he died a few days ago"
>my whole life just sinks infront of my eyes
>i don’t even know what to do. I’m completely speechless
>"i...i" is all i can manage
>she’s trying to hold it together but i can hear her beginning to break
>"um...he was in a firefight and he got hit...the guys say he tried to carry on but..."
>she breaks away and begins to cry
>i feel like im sinking into the chair. my very being crumbling away
>i hear a baby begin to cry in the background ofthe phone
>his son.
>"i have to go...i’ll...i’ll call you tomorrow to let you know when...when the funeral will be..."
>she hangs up
>i drop the phone onto the table
>my god, Will

His wife called me again today, the funeral is in a weeks time, I'm flying over to say goodbye to him one final time. I still don't have to full details of what happened to Will, even his wife won't say much so I have a feeling I'm not going to find out. Will, tonight I'm going to raise a glass of Jack and toast it to you, my old friend. You made me into who I am today. Your love for friendship and your ability to change those around you for the better. Your deeds still stay with me and they always will. I'll tell my children's children about you. The acts of compassion and bravery I saw you perform over the years could fill a book but, for the time being atleast, they'll have to remain memories. You got your wish mate, you died in battle just like you wanted.

This is to my friend Will, the fameless hero.


  1. Oh god... The feels...
    Thanks for sharing this

  2. Dear lord, that was a trip. It's amazing how one person can change your life so profoundly. Sorry for your loss.

  3. I guess you could say will..


    had a lot of will.

    1. I am going to castrate you.

  4. Amazing how such chance meetings can have profound effects

  5. Very nice read, but was with the sudden change in font and size?

  6. jesus christ, after reading this i even loved will


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