18 Years Old
This is the end of my story. While it may seem anticlimactic to some, I assure you I felt every bit of the pain as my soul was ripped from my body, leaving behind nothing but this empty shell.
It was hell.
It was tragic.
It was well deserved.
It’s funny how in the aftermath of death, the meaning of life becomes so clear. Life is hardship, pain, and suffering. It is fear, uncertainty, and if you’re one of the lucky ones, filled with a lifetime of regrets.
To some, regret is something to be avoided, but to me, I hold on to it like a lifeline. It’s the last link to my past. The last thread to a life where I once thrived. Where I was surrounded by love, goodness, and the promise of a future.
Regret is a reminder that, for 17 years of my life, I lived. Like truly lived. Because of it, I can remember what it’s like to have something to fight for. To have something to cling to. Something so worthy and pure that once it was gone, it made me appreciate it that much more. Even as the guilt of remembering that loss makes it so I have to relive the unbearable moment my life came crashing to an end, it’s still worth it.
That I feel regret means that the life I once lived meant something and to a person who’s dead inside, that’s the only solace I’ll ever have. Well, that and the knowledge that our time on this earth is a fragile thing. There’s comfort in knowing we’re destined to die from the moment we’re born. If I had the guts to end it all I would, and though that makes me a coward, I also realize it would be a waste of the body whose heart still beats. I have this one last chance to honor them, and after what I cost them, after everything they gave up for me, this is how I must spend the rest of my life.
Fighting for my country. Putting my life on the line, not caring whether I live or die as I execute the missions of this great nation. This way, when I breathe my last breath, I’ll know I did everything I could to find redemption.
It’s too late for my family.
It’s too late for me.
But for her and those whiskey eyes that will forever haunt my dreams, I hope that our tragic ending is the beginning of her happily ever after.