“Hey Carter, come to dinner tonight” said Jeremy “no excuses allowed. I will be waiting for you; you better make it on time.”
Reluctantly, Carter had to go to dinner. Jeremy said that there will be 2 other people and that it is a good opportunity to make some new friends.
Carter and Jeremy were friends since college; they practically knew everything about each other. However, they were known to be always polar opposites. Carters mum would say that Jeremy is the son that she never had; which makes him feel guilty.
Carter hates going out. Since the army his interest in being social has waned a lot. Feeling his stomach he felt a hole.
A bullet wound.
The bullet wound was so small. Somewhat ragged around the edges. Like sandpaper, the bit of skin near the wound was wearing away. Clinging to the fabric of his shirt, the blood-red marks were itching into his skin. It had been ages since the shot; however it still felt like yesterday.
He couldn’t bear to look at it.
He put on a beige shirt, which he wears basically every day; the coffee stain had been cleaned off. His ripped jeans made him look comfy and his oversized hoodie made him look unsociable.
Driving towards pizza hut it did seem like a usual afternoon. Out of the corner of his eye he could see a collapsed building; the pillars were scattered like shrapnel. Torn like scrap paper, the cross of Jesus was demolished by the demons.
Looking around he saw it, the blue Toyota it immediately captured his attention and he could see Jeremy waving at him; beside Jeremy he could see 2 others. One was in a wheelchair and looked like he had just woken up; his jet black hair was all over the place.
Reluctantly he waved back.
As he walked he realised something, he had seen this person before. Instantaneously, his brain was frying up.
Where had he seen him? Carter thought .
It can’t be.
The man in the wheelchair was baffled; he rubbed his eyes to see if he was not imagining anything. When he opened them again he saw that nothing had changed.
Carter remembers that day as vividly as anything else; it is the moment that kept him alive.
He was in the middle of a war ground. Panting frantically, he was running away from the enemy. He couldn’t stop himself and he was slowing down. Suddenly he was shot with pain. The noise reverberated in the ears and rang out far over the hills.
His stomach was shrieking with pain and his head was burning with agony. He couldn’t contain himself and fell; as he fell someone caught him. He could feel the air around him as they carried him to their base. He could see blood dripping down the person’s thigh; then he realised that he’d been shot too; stumbling forward the man gently placed him down. He could see his jet black hair and hazelnut eyes; his forehead was crinkled up. He could see a scar on his cheek he wonders if it had been there for a while; nevertheless he couldn’t have known.
This man had gotten shot by protecting Carter.
Meanwhile the man in the wheelchair was imaging the same scene; the bullet shots and the wounds made him shiver in pain.
Looking up, Carter could see the man’s hazelnut eyes and the scar on his cheek; he hadn’t actually changed. He could also see his expressions change as he saw Carter. His mouth pouted and his eyebrows creased.
Behind him his friend was wheeling him inside; everyone else was following behind.
“You’re late” remarked Jeremy. I forgot he was even here thought Carter
“Yeah, I was debating on whether to come or not” Carter replied
Jeremy scowled and continued to walk.
“Carter meet Andrew and Maxon” said Jeremy. As he pointed to both of them. Andrew is the one in the wheelchair Carter gathered. “Andrew fought in the army like you did.”
“You are probably wondering why I am in a wheelchair, let me tell you” said Andrew. “One day I was fighting and I saw someone running.” He wanted to look up at Carter but couldn’t bring himself to do it. “He wasn’t quick enough so I ran towards him and I saw that he’d gotten shot.” I can see him stroking his wound thought Andrew “I picked him up and then they shot me, I couldn’t let him go so I ran for me life, my legs were burning with pain” Andrew and Carter both looked at Andrews legs; they both noticed that Andrews legs were immobile. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye Andrew could see that Carters hands were shaking; however he decided to continue with his story. “I ran to the hospital wing and I put him down; I collapsed on the nearest bed, later I found out that I have been paralysed and I can’t walk.” Andrew didn’t want to show his disappointment however there was no choice.
Carter’s subconscious guilt was taking over; he could feel the bullet piercing his skin. He had saved my life that day thought Carter; Carter felt like the whole world was turning upside down and throwing him out. The guilt sat not on his chest but inside his brain. What has he done? Carter thought. The guilt was like gasoline in his guts. His insides died slowly in the toxicity, needing no more than a spark to set it ablaze. The fire burnt him out so badly there was nothing left but a shell. Carter could see Andrews face; but he knew that Andrew was growing weaker by the second and he wanted to give him some of his energy but that wasn’t possible.
“Do you want to get some drinks Jeremy” asked Maxon.
“Yeah sure” replied Jeremy.
As soon as they went Carter couldn’t contain himself any longer.
“I’m so sorry” he exclaimed.
“Its fine” Andrew replied. His eyes darted around examining
Carters whole body. “How is your wound?”
“Better thanks” Carter answered. “I’m sorry about your leg.”
Andrew didn’t think that Carter would actually remember who he was; I guess I was wrong he thought. He felt bad for bringing the story up; he never meant for Carter to get hurt like this.
Instead of answering he just nodded.
They came back with drinks and they all drank heartily. Carter couldn’t get the memory out of his head and nor could Andrew; it was a permanent scar for both of them however neither of them wanted to talk about it in front of Jeremy and Maxon.
Their eyes met and they saw each other’s faces; Andrews’s scruffy hair was getting in his way of seeing. Carter started talking to him; he found out that Andrew was a commander and after his injury they fired him. Someone else took his position. Carter felt really bad but he tried not to show it.
As soon as Carter got home he couldn’t stop thinking about the day; he would be eternally grateful to Andrew.