It was training day. I was preparing for this day since before I can even remember. There was a set of bleachers that I decided to sit on before making my way out.
I met some girl and she was telling me about how she wanted to protect her family but she couldn't shoot the gun.
She couldn’t keep her family safe since the thought of killing was too much for her.
She handed me the .45 magnum she had and said, "if you can shoot that gun without having second thoughts, you can have it."
Having strong morals about killing someone to prevent more lives from being lost, I accepted her challenge. I made my way down the stairs and passed where my family was.
As I passed by, they looked at me with pride and nervousness. I made my way to the testing booth to fire the six shots the girl had loaded.
The targets were wanted posters that had mug shot photos. A vision appeared. A vision of when each convicted killer was a child rather than evildoers. Each one had their quirks of a child.
One was a sports star. Another a beauty queen. Another a junior politician. Another a nerd. Another into science. The last one resembled me. Each one wore a fearful look of absolute last resort.
They were so real. I stepped back, took a deep breath and blinked hard a few times thinking it was just a hallucination. They remained.
The trainer was asking me if I was alright. I didn't want to answer that I was seeing visions. I could barely see straight. The intensity was growing, and the trainer more frustrated with it. My hands sweated, I began to choke up.
My arms grew tired from holding the gun up. I refused to believe I was shooting kids. Nothing could do would make them go away.
They began to weep, each one looking like their lives were about to end.
They were all good kids, what could cause their lives twist to a life of crime? There was only one thing to do to remove these haunting images out of my head.
As I held the gun to the vision in front of me, I had so many thoughts of doubt that I, without thinking, pulled the trigger to kill the vision.
The child in the vision disappeared in a cloud of white smoke. All five others stopped crying and began to look at me in complete rage. Their faces were cracked and their eyes were darkened.
In fear the visions would revolt against me, I proceeded to shoot the remaining five bullets dead in each vision's forehead. The visions were gone. I nearly fell down due to the force of the gun and my previous weakness.
Everyone around me was cheering and clapping for me. I wondered to myself, “why?” Until I looked at the mugshots. Six direct head-shots.
The trainer was impressed with my shooting, so much that he gave me a revolver and a box of ammunition. The trainer mentioned I'd do just fine out there, but I ignored his remark completely.
I was so fatigued from the experience both physically and mentally. I could barely lift my feet up to take each step, but I knew I needed to accept the words of the trainer.
I proved my commitment and that's all; I survived, but at what cost? I walked back to place where my family was and handed the gun I earned from the trainer to my father.
I had a straight face on but my mind was in several places. I looked up at the girl with the straight face and she just shook her head in disgust.
She didn’t understand, though. I didn't want to tell her that I was weak. That I couldn't do it even if my life depended on it.
I hated that she was right. Even though I did it, I felt a horrible chill down my spine. I sat there in thought, entranced by this spell of guilt.
A guilt that could potentially never be washed away. It was a dishonorable guilt that struck me to the core, my very being ached at the thought.
I took a bullet out of the box, and loaded it into the gun the girl gave me.
This time I had no second thoughts.
I put the pistol in my mouth and pulled...
I was free...
Free from guilt...