Who Do I See?
Looking into the mirror, behind the wrinkles and aged eyes, I can almost make out the happy young man I used to be. The man who was ignorant to pain and oblivious to how cruel and unfair the world really is. Back then, I thought my life would be so much different. I never expected to end up alone and unimportant.
My life doesn’t really have any meaning any more. Everyone who has been affected by me is dead and gone by now. My war time had the most affect on me, however. That is when I really lived. When I really had a life.
Enlisting, I thought I was doing the best thing for my country, and myself. I always pictured myself as a war hero. World War Two was worse than I had imagined, though. The front lines were dangerous and the living conditions were rough. I watched so many of my fellow soldiers die those first two months there that I never even tried to become friends with anyone there again.
The worst memory from there, however, didn’t have anything to do the guns or the heat. It was of an explosion, and a girl. This girl worked in the town I was stationed near and for months we saw each other. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever laid my eyes on. We were dating and she was intending on coming back to the states with me when my time was up. But then the bomb was dropped.
The explosion wasn’t a large one. It blew up half of the town, but that was nothing compared to what could have happened. I saw the planes coming over and tried to run to her in time to warn her and save her. But the bomb dropped just before I made it. She was killed instantly, and my leg was almost taken off from the blast. I spent months in rehab and never fully regained the use of it, but it’s still there at least.
But Elizabeth, poor Elizabeth, she never got the promise of a better life. She died right there in that little town at the young age of twenty-five. I loved that girl and, though I tried, I never found anyone else like her. So I stayed single for my whole life.
For a while there when I came back, I had a dark stage. I just couldn’t see myself going on. I had no love and I couldn’t even walk anymore. This was not the life I had expected. I was no war hero, just an old man with a bum leg with a war story, and those were a dime a dozen.
I drank way too much way too often. I would go out to bars and get so drunk I was blind. I don’t even remember most of my time after the war. The years that followed were lost in a drunken haze that I called my life.
Now, I am rotting away in a nursing home. The pain comes every day and my liver is failing from my alcoholic days. I take so much medicine, I feel like nothing in my body works on its own. I am a waste of a life. I left no great thing for the future generation, I have no family living to come visit me and all of my friends here are dying off slowly.
Looking in the mirror, I see the sad life for the last time. I reach for the pain pills by the sink and take a few. Then a few more. And a few more. No amount seems to be efficient to get rid of the pain. After a little while, though, I see the world around me getting darker. It’s no longer the cruel pathetic thing I once thought it was. Even though I know I am caught up in a drug haze, I like it. This is a nice way to go out, painless for once.
I feel my legs go weak and myself falling, I hope someone will find my body soon. I hope my funeral is nice, maybe one or two people will show. Maybe someone will miss me.
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