BY EMAN SHAHZAD
He was once a young boy not so good at studies but quite athletic. He had friends who always supported him and made his childhood memorable and special.
He once got caught doing pranks at a class fellow but one of his friends took blame on himself. He became closer to that friend further whose father was a soldier and respected by everyone.
His parents were always telling him stories about the soldiers who made their county proud. He played with the small soldier action figures like Captain America. He would love watching movies of the heroes who served their country and the President along with the whole nation would praise them. His only dream was to become a solider like his friend’s father. To protect people he loves, to protect his people and to sacrifice his life for his country.
He appeared in the test soon after he graduated and was so anxious, since most people had told him, how hard it was to get enrolled in an army academy. After a few days he opens his laptop and awaits his result and shuts his eyes with his hands.
Unfortunately curiosity gets the best of him and he timidly tries to look at the screen and Yes! He passed the exam. So what’s next, the interview. He is confident but also very nervous. He is outside the room giving himself a prep talk “You can do this you can do this”.
After taking a few deep breaths and trying hard to calm the storm of nervousness, panic and negativity, he enters the room having strangers for him, wearing a scary and observant face. He couldn’t believe himself. He got in, cleared the interview as well. His dream was about to come true. After getting himself into the force, he worked hard. He was deployed in Yemen and was rewarded with a lot of shinning medals which made his family proud.
His mama would always cry and tell him how proud she was of him. He then married a country girl and got settled in a house at countryside. His wife loved gardening and he would join her too. Even though they got less time together they were happy. He is now retired with a lot of medals and has a proud family.
Little does anyone know how much he has changed; his wife finds him distant and hears him crying at night. She tries to ask him what is wrong but all he says is that I am fine, don’t worry about me. She finds him having depression and talking sleeping pills just to find peace that he lost during his service for the country. He saw the torture, the bloodshed, the innocent kids dying, each bullet fired from his gun taking a life and all his fellows who died in front of him.
His best friend killed himself after torturing a women in front of her kids. Yes everyone sees him as a hero yet he feels like a monster. His wife works alone in her fields and watches as his husband walks alone deep in his thoughts. He lost his leg and his sanity, he lost his wife and now he is losing his mind.
When will this world stop spreading wars that hurt people and leave scars. He prays it stops and people don’t have to go through what he does everyday. Why would God even forgive him after knowing what he did. He knows God hates him but he just prays that God help us people and heal our scars.
(Eman Shahzad is a student of BS English at National University of Modern Languages Islamabad. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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