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The Man on the Other Side

Short story By: Poison Passion
War and military



a woman relives the death of her best friend, and the terror and pain it caused her


Submitted:Jul 29, 2008    Reads: 273    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Lying in her bed curled into a ball, Taylor Warren let the images run through her head, knowing it was better to just get them over with rather than to fight them and have them and have them reappear three times more horrific. She knew her three years of the war would screw with her mind, but she never could have imagined it would be this bad. She'd been out of the military and off the field for two years, and still the dreams tied her down to her mistakes, making her regret her decisions more than anyone would ever know. Closing her eyes, she watched the horror movie rolling on the screen of her eyes, wimpering when necessary.

"Go on, Tay!" Her officer Kye yelled, firing off his gun, hitting his target smack in the chest.

Taylor charged out, aiming her gun and shooting six men and two woman in a row, watching as their bodies each crumpled to the ground, seeping blood, their eyes dull and lifeless. Forcing herself not to look at them, she ducked and rolled, narrowly missing a bullet heading straight for her head. Forcing herself not to think about the people she'd just single-handedly killed, she raced down the dirt floor, looking for her partner, wanting to help, if necessary. Surveying the battlefield, she finally found him, standing behind some sacks, peeking around for the enemy.

"Ricky!!" She half whispered, throwing herself down on the ground next to him.

"Shh, Taylor. We don't need to give away our position. Was that you that took all those people down a minute ago?" He asked, his curiousity taking him over.

He stared at her through his tired green eyes, still looking sexy, despite his black stubble and buzz cutted hair. They had been friends forever, and knew everything about the other, but the war was changing both of them, giving them different views on the word and everything that went on around them. Before, they had lain in bed, safe and sound, while out here there were people dying and killing so that their families and friends and even people they didn't know would be safe and didn't have to worry about anything war-related. But now, after experiencing days without sleep and food and only each other to be with and keep warm at night, they were both different, in both their behavior and mind.

"Yep. Took 'em down like dominoes," she said proudly. She used to feel badly about killing people, but after a man had killed her brother, she shot freely, taking down whoever was in sight and doing it quickly. She took her anger out on the people on the other side, for fighing in this war, for helping to cause it, and for not stopping it, like she kenw her country should be big enough to do.

"Nice job, Tay. Soon enough, you're gonna be better than me," Ricky praised, giving her a smile he rarely used anymore. Nobody in the war ever really smiled, but on the rare occasion someone did, it was worth a celebration. And Ricky's smiles were worth crying over, he did it so rarely.

"Okay, we need to get back out there," Taylor said, forcing herself not to aknowledge the smile. She wanted to, but she had a job to do, and she couldn't afford to be distracted. Running out, Taylor found her target and shot off her gun, hitting him square between the eyes. Blood gushed everywhere, and as much as she wanted to throw up, she fought the urge and beat it, though it was a thoroughly disgusting sight. A yell sounded from her side, jarring her from her thoughts of barfing.

"Taylor, watch out!" The deep voice screamed, pointing forward, directing her attention to the bullet coming straight for her. Frozen in terror, Taylor knew that if she didn't move she'd be killed, but she was completely unable to move. She literally saw her life flash before her eyes, her mother and father, sad but proud of her decision, her late brother, so young and innocent, exposed to the hate that was war, and Ricky. The man she loved. Her best friend. The person always there for her. But before she had a chance to move, she was shoved out of the way, falling to the ground with a thump, holding her gun tight to her chest. Ricky's body crashed to the ground, and he was gasping for air, holding the place directly over his heart.

With a sick feeling welling up inside her, Taylor scrambled over to him, not caring that she was an open target, ungarded and therefore the perfect person to kill. Falling to her knees over Ricky, she looked at him, desperately gasping for air, eyes looking around frantically until they locked with hers.

"Taylor," he wheezed out, using the hand that wasn't holding his chest to grasp hers and squeeze tightly. Tears were sliding down both of their faces, and Taylor just stared down at him, knowing it was impossible to save him.

"Ricky don't go," she sobbed, pressing her forehead against his own.

"It's my time, Tay. Don't cry over me. I'm sorry," he apologized. Taylor found that ironic. She thought she shoud be the one apologizing, because she was partly responsible for his impending death.

"This is all my fault. If only I hadn't gotten distracted," she said, starting up with the if only's.

"Taylor. Stop. I love you," he whispered, his eyes closing and his hand going limp, his chest not moving.

He'd used his last breath to tell her he loved her. What sucky timing. And she laid there, her head on his chest, sobbing uncontrollably. She didn't care that she was a lone soul on the ground, crying on a dead body, covered in Ricky's blood, defenseless. But it seemed that the other soldiers didn't shoot at her because they saw her pain and what she was going through. Whatever the reason, she wasn't greatful. She didn't want to be alive now that Ricky wasn't. And as she cried against his chest, she knew that she would never be the same again.

Opening her eyes again, Taylor let the tears run down her face, unable to stop them. She missed Ricky. Two years later, and she still blamed herself for his death. And she kenw she always would. But there was no way to bring him back, no matter how much she wished there was. And evry night she went through this, laying in her ned, reliving her own personal nightmare. She knew that she wasn't truly the cause of Ricky's death, but she couldn't help but blame herself. But he was gone, all because of her. And the man on the other side.





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