I look at my scars and I know why I am the way that I am. You stood by me more than you ever should and I will always love you for giving me that chance. I blew it. Lifting my hands was the biggest mistake of my life and I am eternally sorry. I am glad that you left and are out of harm’s way. You are out of my way. The medication I am on I am not proud of. The therapy sessions that I have been ordered to take don’t help. I know why I am the way I am. I know that I can’t handle the things that I saw. I have night terrors. I don’t understand why I can’t look at the wounds as I would an operation scar and only be thankful that I am still here. The mark on my neck especially scares me. I am paranoid. Hateful. I am terrified. I wish I could resent as that would be a more understandable thought but I can’t. I don’t know how to focus anymore. I only feel anger and terror and hate. I can’t control any emotion and more importantly, I can’t focus my hate on who deserves it. I am dangerous and I am only too aware what I am capable of. I look at the world as a rabid dog. Head down, eyes up and then I snap.
My one question that I would like to ask is quite simple. Can’t we be spotted? The men and women who end up feeling like me should never have been put in place initially. In this day and age of science and understanding surely we can be identified. I think that we can but no-one wants to do this. We are, as we always suspected cannon fodder. They need the numbers… Maybe I am beginning to resent.’
Ian looked at what he had written and wondered how much he believed? How much was actually true and how much his therapist had wanted him to say? His therapist hadn’t helped!
He leaned back on the bed and took a swig of Vodka. The pills were within reach. There was no-one there to hear him speak the words.
“Pathetic – I am!
Tired – I’ll give you that.
Sick – Goes without saying!
Dammed – I have no doubt”
He wiped the tears from his eyes as he looked at the wedding picture that sat by his bed. His strength was natural then. His uniform enhanced his physique. Her love wasn’t corrupted. Ian touched his neck. This was the reason. The scar due to the knife fight in the desert hadn’t bothered him. He had an imprint of Lisa’s lips tattooed over it. The ugliness of that fight was forever kissed away.
“Pathetic. Tired. Sick. Dammed.”
He took another drink and swallowed one of the pills.
He looked at the letter he was asked to write. This was therapy he was told. This would make him feel better. He would be able to understand. The therapist had a theory regarding people being spotted before they were enlisted. Ian had listened to him and had decided to give him what he wanted.
He laughed. He understood too much. The discharge, the addiction to the gym, the roids, the rage, him subduing his temper with Valium. And of course…The actual reason.
“I’ve always fucking understood!
Pathetic. Tired. Sick. Dammed!”
He swallowed another couple of pills and thanked them. If it hadn’t been for them bringing him down, he shuddered to think what he would have done. He was happy that Lisa had escaped without him hurting her too much.
“Gym. Roids. Valium. Sleep.”
He didn’t want to consider that he loved her but could never show her completely. How could he? He blamed the steroids. She knew that he took them. She was as vain as he was and she loved him to be on her arm. The beautiful Lisa and the bear of a man that was Ian. That was what everyone saw.
Sex had never meant much to her. That had been fortunate. He began to cry.
Ian thought back to another time in another place and what he had asked the boy to do. He had shown him the money. He remembered the crack as some guardian somewhere with a rifle had seen who the boy really was. Lisa had fawned over the medal that he never looked at. How could he? A medal won out of lies. Lies to save his reputation.
Yes Sir I was suspicious!! Yes Sir I got in close to have a look! Yes Sir I showed him money to distract him!!!
Lisa’s tattooed lips tasted the boy’s skull and Ian was dammed.
He swallowed another three pills and began to sob. He wanted to change the last word of his letter from ‘resent’ to ‘accept’. He couldn’t. He crumpled it up and threw it across the room.
Ian finished off the pills.
“Pathetic. Tired. Sick.”
He drifted off to sleep knowing what the ‘D’ really stood for!”