He entered the church with his hands to his side. He wasn’t tall, but he was slender. He stood five feet eight and was a solid 150lbs. He had brown hair and blue eyes. They were clear blue as the cleanest and clearest of the sea. He walked toward the front of the church walking down the aisle that led him through rows of pews. He sat in a pew that was in front of the others and behind the pulpit. There was no service today, but the church was always opened to those who wanted to confess their sins and to come and pray. He sat with his head held up to look at the cross that was on the wall in front of the pulpit. “Where are you God?” With anger and fire burning inside he reached for it. It was black and was about three pounds. It had a short stock not as long as his service weapon, but it would do the job. He took it out looking at it intensely. He raised it to his head, and his finger was on the trigger. He pointed it to his right temple. He cocked the gun and then.
How he got to this point is a story in itself, and I’m here to tell it. It all started one month ago when Lieutenant John Tucker was on patrol in Afghanistan. He took to the streets to make sure no one was on the road. It was as dark as the depth of a hole dug for a well. No stars could be seen he walked a mile from base. He didn’t want to stray from his post that took up a football field in length. An hour of his watch he heard a commotion. He walked about 50 yards from the end of his post to find a man raping a girl. This was a normal occurrence, but what he saw next is what would change his life. She lay on the ground, and the man’s pants were around his ankles and his hands where on her wrist to hold her down. But there was another there, it was a teen boy. He was strapping a vest of explosives to her. As the man, maybe his father was raping the girl. She only looked to be eleven or twelve. He didn’t know he tried not to look at young girls to guess their age.
“What in the hell are you doing?” John yells.
The boy and the man look up the man having to turn his head. In their native tongue. “None of your damn business American.” The man said.
“Well hell it ain’t get off of her.” John says as he brings his rifle up. “I’ll shoot you if you don’t get off of her.”
A few more seconds pass, “I’m done anyway.” The man said.
“You’re a sick bastard.” With his finger now on the trigger. He withholds all his thoughts and his emotions. I so want to blow this guy’s brains out right then and there.
“No, I’m not.” The man gets up off the girl, and he pulls his pants up as the girl lay on the ground crying blood coming from her vagina and a puddle of blood below her. The boy finished with what he was doing. The boy got up off the ground and started to walk toward the back room.
“You are just a sick piece of shit you know that, right?”
“Whatever she is my daughter I can do as I please.”
“You just raped your daughter. You’re really a sick son of a bitch.” John walked closer to the girl the father moves back. He starts to move back to the back room. “Why did you strap this bomb to her?”
“For you American bastards.”
“Why do you have such ill will against us.”
“Because you have come to our country and have tried to save that which can’t be saved.” The man says, as he still moves slowly toward the back room. “When she gets done crying she is going to go to your base, and then her bomb will go off taking you Americans with her.”
“Not if I can help it.” John walks over and pulls the girls’ underwear up and puts down her dress like clothes. He then bends over the girl as he grabs her hands to help her off the ground. He wants to save the girl and dis arm the bomb so badly that he forgets that the man and the boy are still around, and before he knows it John got hit from behind. Darkness over took him.
John awoke 30 minutes later to find that all three were gone. He ran out of the little home back toward his base it was still night he got about 100 yards from base when it explodes. John was thrown back from the blast only to hit a building, and he heard some cracking noises. He moves slowly to get up. The pain felt as if someone took a hammer to his ribs. Even so, the pain was blocked by the scorching flames that over took his base. He ran back into the flames to find if there were any survivors. He only saw bodies charred by the fire and ash all around the barracks.
“FUCK GOD… I was I was supposed to stay at my post at my ready for this. Fuck what have I done. I have I not done. Why did this happen.?” He had no words that came to him that didn’t have the F word several times coming out of his mouth. He thought it was his fault that this occurred when it was not. “Why didn’t I kill that sick Fuck the moment, I saw the girl? God Jesus Mary and Joseph, what…what have I done.”
He was honored for saving the very few that had survived most losing a limb most becoming inflicted with PTSD. He never thought that he should live, and somehow he survived without a scratch.
“Why,” he wondered.
I came in as he pulled the hammer back, with a click click, “Stop. What are you doing? You don’t want to do that son.”
“Why, not I don’t deserve to be alive with what I saw and what I didn’t do.”
“God has his reasons.”
“God Fuck God. I don’t even know how I got here.”
“The Lord led you here my son.”
“You’re not my father don’t call me son.”
“Sorry, but you shouldn’t be sorry for what you didn’t do or saw. You must have been in the war?”
“Yeah, duh, I have a gun to my head, and I’m wearing my camouflage.”
“Yes, I see.”
We talked for a few minutes only for him to put the gun down for the few minutes, or maybe it was an hour or longer. We talked until the tears dried from his eyes. That night he didn’t take his life.
I did have to speak at his vigil one week later. They say that he tried to save, well he did save a girl from a fire, but a falling beam impaled him. God, saved him to save the girl from the fire so that he could feel redeemed, and then then it was his time to go home.