He carries a look of fret most days, but says he is happy. The weight of the world becoming heavy like the ruck which slumped his shoulders. He took a shot, while mixing a drink, and then chased it with beer. This scene a frequent setting throughout his many nights and well into early mornings. He was now flushed in the cheeks and his ears crimson. He smiles, but quickly stares into the distance. Another shooter, for the thought crossing his path. The sadness is a heavy presence, and the darkness begins clouding his memory. He told her, “I love you so much, but I don’t know what to tell you. I can’t say it anymore. If you don’t know by now then you never will. This will always be there.” This, being the irreversible damage to his soul that hurt and consumed most of his adult life. Another shooter, he winces and stares past her. She stares blankly, with sadness in her heart, trying to suppress the tears. Her love for him magnified so greatly she can feel it burning through his flesh. She knew his hatred of himself was heavier than the suffocating feeling of being airless under one hundred feet of the ocean, and not panicking; but instead fighting to turn a valve for relief while accepting your end. That feeling of being swept by the surge, yet your hand clenching a rope, and praying you make it through. A feeling of an entire ocean on you, and the helplessness that accompanies it. She couldn’t imagine it as an everyday existence. Her tears fell. Her Marine stoicism replaced with compassion for her best friend, and a tinging sting of hurt as his wife. She knows her love cannot replace his self hate. Her optimism of showing him the beauty in life and all of God’s gifts, is only a flicker tonight. Another shot. The whisky bottle quickly becoming clear like her realization of their endless conversations. His heart is broken. It was shattered after turning it callously cold in matters of war and the world. His love for his family deeply felt by her, but there was a perpetual, lingering sadness. It is never personal towards those he loves, but is merely a reflection.

This is a WORK IN PROGRESS. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

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