Numbers

Bobby Smith and his brother Buddy listened to the radio as the draft official called out the lottery numbers.
They were twins, born ten minutes apart. Couldn’t tell one from the other.
Bobby born five minutes before midnight, Buddy five minutes after.
September 14th came first. Then, April 24th.
Bobby’s birthday.
Buddy’s number, April 25th, didn’t come up until near the end.
Buddy offered to take Bobby’s place, but Bobby refused.
Buddy showed up at the indoctrination anyway, and he volunteered.
They trained together, they got shipped out together.
Buddy came home… or was it Bobby?
The war didn’t care.

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