After I was placed back into my bed, I must have fallen asleep until today. I woke up with the searching eyes of many troops around me. It looked as though they were allergic to blinking as they examined me with terror and awe. I eventually broke their peace by asking, “Is there something on my face?”
A soldier I didn’t know replies, “No sir…”
“Well then what is it?”
Another soldier says, “Sir… how did you take out that many terrorists without any help?”
I drop my head before I say, “I don’t know. Something came over me.”
Silence was heavy within the room as I reminisced about how I couldn’t tell them that a random clicking in my head made me do everything. I would sound like a lunatic and would most likely be dishonorably discharged. I don’t want to live with that burden, so I should remain silent about this whole situation. Yet silence wasn’t what anyone wanted, so another soldier says, “Well shit sir… that was the most amazing thing out there. We were going to that location to try and get Al-Zabad… but you showed up and took him out and all of the men that were protecting him. We got word that they were the ones that attacked your camp, so we were going to get them back.”
“Is that right?”
Everyone nods with their eyes still glued to my face. One of the soldiers says, “Sir… that was like an act of God or something.”
“Trust me. That wasn’t God. But thank you. Shouldn’t you boys be doing something besides staring at me in bed though?”
The General walks in and says, “He’s right. Leave him alone and give him his space. He’s had a rough couple of days.” The General watches intently as the peanut gallery exits the room with curiosity keeping their eyes on me. After everyone leaves, the General says, “That was one hell of a job you did in there though son. I honestly wouldn’t have liked the odds… but hey, you showed us what it means to be an American Marine.” He begins to laugh but my face remains flat.
I say, “Yes I’m fine. Thanks for asking sir.”
“Oh what are you being a pansy on me again?”
“Sir, no offense, but I don’t know what came over me and that was not something that I wanted to do or ever want to do again.”
The General thinks for a moment as he nods his head. He leans close to my face with his hands on the edge of the bed as he says, “So you didn’t want to avenge your fallen comrades? What kind of a soldier are you?”
My lips begin to show disgust as I say, “Don’t twist the reality sir. You know that I would want to avenge my brothers… especially Private Smith. But that… that was not natural or safe. It was completely outside of protocol and it could cause another attack on us in the near future.”
He laughs as he says, “I call bullshit on that one son. When they find out that just one of us can take out over forty of their men without dying in the process like their dumbasses would do by strapping a fucking bomb on their chest, they’re gonna be scared shitless. Good job trying to sound like the bigger man, but it’s okay, you can tell me that you enjoyed doing that.”
“The only part of me that enjoyed doing that was the devil inside of me. You and I both know that I’m much more than that.”
He rolls his eyes while saying, “There’s no hope for you son. Maybe this is the best time for you to stop fighting because you sound as threatening as a puppy right now.”
I snap, “Are you finished, sir.”
We share a stare of death before I say, “General.”
We continue sharing our stare before he says, “I guess so. Colonel.”
He turns and walks out of the room while slamming the door behind himself. I mutter, “Prick” and sink into my bed to enjoy the warmth. My mind spins around my thoughts until I come to the conclusion that I should try and control myself better than before. I may be able to become a fighting machine at the drop of a hat, but the machine is not predictable. All that I can feel is the click before the surge of energy takes me out of this world. And it obviously takes a toll on my body since I was knocked out for two whole days before I realized that I could move. But even that quick movement took out more than I was ready for because I just fell right back asleep.
The doctor that I held the knife to walks over hesitantly and quickly checks my chart before he scurries off. I say, “I’m sorry about that” to try and ease the tension, but he awkwardly waves at me before he disappears behind the door. It’s weird to be sitting in the medical quarters alone. A couple rows of empty beds waiting for people to bleed or rest on them with the constant smell of sterilization can make any man feel uneasy. I look out of the window and see life playing in the soldiers and civilians in the camp as they enjoy running around and relaxing in the sun. I look up to see nothing but a grey ceiling with brown fans turning me into a vegetable. But I just can’t stop thinking about how I knew how to attack these men without being trained for anything like that at all. Could there be something in the food or were they doing something to us in our sleep? I don’t know… all that I do know, is that my head still hurts and I need to rest this whole thing off. I should check the mail tomorrow to see if my wife has written me. I don’t want her to worry about me at all. That could be bad for our baby.