Loving the Broken

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Chapter 6-Regrets

Song: A Life Of Regrets-Chester See


Dan doesn’t invite me to join him for his family calls anymore because he knows I would refuse. I feel like an asshole for not talking to them since the Woods have always been my family. They knew about what my Old Man would do to me and my mom so they always opened their home to me. I don't remember a time where I wasn't treated like one of their son’s, Mrs. Woods would tell people I was Dan’s twin, since we were similar in looks, build and inseparable. They also figured Emily and I would get married at some point. Of course, I’m a dick for ignoring them when I know everyone worries about me, the thing is I’m not worthy of their love and compassion anymore.

It’s also just so hard to see Emily, to hear her voice. I know I told her to let me go but secretly I hope she hasn’t, it’s incredibly selfish but the months away from her hasn’t eased the pain of not being with her. My love for her hasn’t faded either, if anything it’s only grown. I need to let go of this hold she has on me because even if we were to even consider being together again it wouldn’t work, I’m not any good for her anymore.

I see her in my dreams every time I sleep, which is not as often as it should be. I’m lucky I get three hours. If it’s not being on high alert, it’s the nightmares keeping me awake. Emily has always been the one to get me through my toughest days when we were kids; so it makes sense she would be the one I reach for. After he would beat me with whatever was convenient for him then pass out like the drunken fool he was, I would run to her house. Emily would nurse me back to health, even at such a young age she was the one taking care of me while Dan dd his best to cheer my up. Their parents let me stay as long as I needed and didn’t say a word about it.

Jim Woods wanted to call the police a few times and I'm sure he did but since my Dad was the town Sheriff it was shrugged off. The townsfolk thought he was the greatest man who hung the moon even though he was also known as the town drunk; it was extremely sickening to watch people fawn all over him. He became the local hero when he arrested two dangerous men and sent them off to get convicted, now they are sitting in prison with four life sentences and no chance of parole. My father was a great cop but a shit person and fucking disgrace for a Dad.

He was killed trying to stop a desperate and hungry fifteen year old boy from stealing a gallon of milk. The kid was homeless and had a three-year-old brother he was just trying to feed, he ran as soon as he swiped the milk. My father just happened to be in the same store and saw the kid so he chased after him only he didn’t see the car coming and was killed on impact, I say Karma came a knocking for him and the kid got away.

The town grieved for him, my Mom still weeps for him and I silently thanked God or whoever it was for taking him. His death was a blessing for a lot of us but a curse for others. After his death my mom fell into a deep depression and locked herself in her room. I hated it at home and seeing her so lost because of a cruel man, I basically moved in with the family I felt safe with. I only went home once a day to make sure Mom was still alive and if she was eating, I’d been taking care of her since I was four years old so it was like second nature to me. Over the year she slowly started to vanish and I couldn’t stand it anymore, I cared more about losing her then my dad but she just couldn’t deal with his death.

He was killed last year and even though I didn’t feel free I felt some peace knowing he couldn’t physically hurt me anymore, however, he’s still causing me pain even a year later. He drank away my college savings and them some and I wouldn’t be surprised if mom ends up losing the house as well. Tom Reed really fucked up and now everyone is dealing with the aftermath of his fucked up ways.

I need to see Emily, even though I know it will bring a gut-wrenching ache. Since she walked away from me I’ve felt this constant emptiness but I crave to find some sort of peace and she’s always done that for me so maybe just seeing her gorgeous smile will help settle this constant storm brewing inside me.

I walk into the community center and hear Dan yelling and suspect somethings wrong. Dan isn’t the type of person to yell expletive words unless he's really stressed or pissed. The tone of his voice sounds tense and angry. “Over my dead body, just because you're pregnant doesn’t mean you have to marry him.” It couldn’t have been Danika, she loved him and wouldn’t cheat on him, so that left one other person. She was free to do what she wants but is she really that stupid?

It’s when I look at the computer screen and see her there with watery blue eyes I realize it had to be true. I just won’t believe it unless she says it herself. Glueing my eyes to hers, she doesn’t move away from my longing gaze and just looking at her beautiful face, it hits me; what we had is gone, we can’t be fixed and the peace I was hoping to find is replaced with sorrow and loss. It hurts to know she’s moved on and is having a baby with someone else, it hurts so fucking much.

“I’m sorry Day.” She cries and she may be sorry but for what? For walking away or for ripping out my heart and stomping it to the ground? Is she sorry for moving on so quickly and living the life we talked about? She may be sorry for all of it but I’m sorry for ever loving the girl, wait, that’s not true. I put on my mask, the one I’ve been carrying around for months now and hold it together long enough to tell her congrats, then I turn around and leave the room. I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going, maybe I’ll go ask Commander Russell if I can join the team going out on a mission. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do, it’s supposed to be a difficult one, so if I don’t come back, that would be okay.

I find him in the galley, talking to other officers My heavy booted feet make noise as I move towards the table and that’s when he turns around. Standing at attention I salute my commanding officer. “Reed, what can I do for you?” Commander Russell isn’t always so formal when addressing us so he must sense something is up and wants to cut out the bullshit and get straight to the point.

“Sir, can we talk for a moment?” He nods his head and turns to back to the other guys and says,

“I’ll see you all later for our poker game?” He gets up from the table. “We can talk outside.” He heads towards to door and I follow. Once outside he leans up against one of the hummers.

“What’s up Frostbite?” Now his formalities are dropped.

“I want to go the with platoon leaving in the morning?” He straightens up and his eyes widen with worry.

“Why, Damien?” He questions with concern lacing his voice. “You know that’s a suicide mission and your chances of coming back are slim to none.”

“I’m aware of what kind of mission it is. I just need to get out of here and we’re not set to leave on patrol for another few days.” Jake looks deep in thought as he questions my request.

I’m not sure what’s really going on with you, but I’m going to have to deny that request. Now before you go and get all pissy about it, here’s why. We could get called out at any second and we would be down a man if you left. We need you here Reed; I also need you to pull it together before you get yourself or one of us killed.” I want to get angry at him but he’s right; it would be pretty stupid of me if I took off.

“Look, Damien, I can see you are struggling with yourself and with what happened to that kid but there was really nothing else you could have done. Out here if a child is pointing a weapon at you they aren’t kids anymore, it becomes a battle of doing the right thing. It was either him or you.”

“Alpha, Frostbite, you need to gear up and meet us at the tank.” Ghost says while running up to us, clutching his rifle.

The tank?” I ask. We don’t normally use the tank unless we are going into an area with high artillery. “What’s happened?” His upright body sags a bit.

“There’s been an ISIS attack in the city.”

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