It’s been years after the war. People say, just forget it. Well I can’t. I did something that has scared me forever. I killed my brother. I’ve seen doctors and therapist. I’ve been to talk groups and mental institutions. Nothing has helped. I’m 80 and still fighting this battle. This happened in xxxx. Now it’s xxxx, forty years later. My family is all deceased; they either got killed in the war or dead of disease. I know my life is ending soon, and I can’t wait. Here in this modern world with cars and music, I’m just an old man. My honor is gone. Nobody honors the people who fought in the cold war, the people same us now in this peaceful land.
After the war ended and we all came home, they had a parade for us. All of our family, friends, and neighbors came to greet us. We were heroes. Not me. My family was grieving over the fact that I had killed my brother. They didn’t understand why. I told them, I didn’t know it was him. No matter how much I explained it didn’t stop them from kicking me out of the house. I became a mistake, a hushed name. I was a devil. It went downhill from there. I was an alcoholic. I was a homeless bum roaming the streets of Ireland. Nobody even cared; if they did I would be in a nice home with food and water.
One little girl said to me quickly before her mother saw her, “Smile, please. For me please.” I smiled. It was a sad smile. She smiled back, her eyes full of light and hopefulness. She waved good-bye and hurried back to her mother who scolded her for talking to such a dangerous man. She argued, “I just wanted to see him smile! He looked sad!” She stomped behind her mother, never looking back.
I’m sure she grew up happy and got married and had kids. I know it. Me, I’ll lie here in this dirty alley until I die. I can’t make anything of myself. I’m unwanted, an outcast. I know what’s going to happen next. I’ll just shut my eyes and let it happen. Somebody will find this paper and say, “Poor man.” Then they’ll take my writing and say it’s their own. I know it. But I’ll be in hell, living the life I never wanted, again and again and again.