Fresh out of hell. That's kind of what I want to say. But I'm still living that hell in my head, every time I close my eyes and lay my head down against the pillow. As I level my gun at a person, ready to live with one more nightmare in my head. As I look at my girlfriend, her red hair and green eyes staring into my soul, trying to help. As much as I love her, she can't help me, because she has never taken a life.
I reminisce as I look at the bomb I've planted on the station over earth. I see the face of my father, the one person who understands me, and I realize I have never thanked him for the consolation he's given. I cry, knowing I'll never see my child grow into the great strong hero that I'm not. I sob because I'll never know my child, despite the video I've left him and the words my should-be wife was left to tell him, "Tell 'em that daddy loved him."
I look at the bomb and glare at it. I want to live. But I can't because while scientists are smart, they lacked the common sense for a self-destruct button. Idiots, they'd considered it in the pre-construction, but found it too costly. Billions, maybe trillions of lives could've been saved if they discarded their greed. One of those lives just so happens to be mine. I could've been given a chance to live. Thirty one years is too short for me, I wanted to live into my nineties and die of a stroke, not be the greatest hero the galaxy will have ever seen, who just died after getting past thirty.
Now I'm sitting on the floor, my back against the wall with my hands covering my face. I have three minutes of life left before I saved the lives of humanity and whatever other sentient species there were. I've given fourteen years of my life to the military, and what've they given me? A memorial and high praise 'cause I saved lives of a small colony, the status of a top-tier Special Forces operative and a promotion to Colonel. The only thing I asked for was time with my pregnant girlfriend and family. I deserved that.
But to them, I'm nothing but a puppet to the higher ups. I got one week. Selfish bastards had the audacity to try and get me in here. They got their wish.
I sigh and pull out my phone. I see her on my wallpaper briefly before I hit her contact. It rang once before she picked it up. "Hey babe." The sound of her voice makes more tears come out of my eyes. "Hey." I say back, my voice shaky and unstable. "You alright?" She asks me, concerned. "I'm not coming back Jill." I manage to choke out.
I hear her gasp, then an inaudible sound I know. Sobbing. "Jill, please just… just talk to me." The sobbing becomes calmer. She was always good controlling herself. "Okay. Okay, Jack. What'd you want to talk about?" I look at the timer. Seventy seconds left. "Lie to me. Tell me everything'll be okay. Just reassure me."
I hear a squeaky sob come out. "You'll… you'll wake up in bed with me. You'll tell me you had a nightmare. I'll talk to you and hug you, tell you I'll always be there for you. John will start crying and you'll get up and feed him, tell him that daddy's right there, showing him how to be a big boy. You'll come back to bed and talk about my hair or my eyes like you usually do. I'll call you a flatterer and you'll call me an attention grabber. We'll kiss and start loving each other like we usually do."
I hear her voice become increasingly shaky. She continues. "We'll lay there for a while. You'll get up and make breakfast. And then we'll get up and talk about anything. Just anything!" She shouted at the last part. She had lost control. She sobbed over the phone. It broke my heart into tiny little shards. Twenty seconds left.
"Hey, it's okay. You'll get through it. John's gonna need you, J. He's gonna need his mom. Please, get through it." I know what I'm asking her to do. To move on. To forget about me. To find someone else.
"I know. I know." I hear the sobs. I start crying again. My sobs were well deserved. I need them. "Tell him… oh God, tell him that if he ever gets an attitude, I'll come back and haunt his ass until he has kids himself." I sobbed. One more joke for me and her. Just one more. Her response is more crying.
Fifteen seconds left. "I love you." I tell her as I get up to see through the glass one last time. It seemed like good way to go doing something. To see Earth, one more time. Twelve seconds are left. "I love you." She responds back to me. Ten seconds are left. "The planet looks beautiful, but nothing'll ever beat you." I compliment my lover's beauty one last time as I gaze at the planet.
She sobs even more violently. I can't help but think and look at the things I'll miss. Showing my son how to play sports. Marrying Jill in her beautiful white dress. Retire from the Army with a bunch of awards and medals I'll probably get posthumously. Watching my son get a life of his own and raise my grandkids. It makes my chest hurt.
I remember the faces of the people that cared about me.
My girlfriend and son.
And I whispered to her one last time.
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