Innocent Guilt | Teen Ink

Innocent Guilt

May 6, 2009
By rebekah dalm BRONZE, Tillsonburg, Other
rebekah dalm BRONZE, Tillsonburg, Other
4 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Today, I linger near the fire place. It is simple in appearance but if you look deeper, you can see that it has character. The dazzling flames have the ability to pull you in mentally and the lurking danger has the ability to pull you in physically, or so it was with Seth.

None knew what he was going through; none knew what he had gone through in the military. It was only one night that changed his life. It was an atmospherically beautiful evening; the men had watched the sun set together and discussed what they were going to do when they got home. Seth`s life was only going to be good. He saw no lasting effects of the here and now or there and then. He was going to go home, enjoy life, take over the carpentry business, marry his Jillian, and have a beautiful family, just like any fairytale.
All who know the true elements of life realize there are holes in the road of life. Some are huge pits, which have a lasting effect. Others are just small potholes, which can quickly be passed. Seth should have remembered that ever life is already perfectly written.

“Fire, fire, fire........”
“Men! Wake up! The 6th unit is under flames!”
... Grrr! I hate these dumb role calls. Why do they wake me up.....? Wait! FIRE? 6th Unit?
Bryne and Seth had always been friends; they were born within the same town. They grew up together, fought over girls, played pranks together, and told each other all that could be uttered. He was set to be his best man; they were all that friends could ever be. And now it was Bryne unit building which was on fire.
Dear God please keep him here: he is my friend, my companion. Keep him safe. Amen ... Okay Seth, relax. He’s okay. It’s nothing that hasn’t happened before. Go, go....
Seth ran. He saw a large, yellow, red and orange hurricane engulfing the building.
Into the building he went with a look of determination. Before him, black clouds were blocking his view...
Bed number 73. Okay, there it is! A few more steps. Grab him! go...
Come on, run with me. Get up!... Okay Seth, you are strong, you can do it; you’re going to have to carry him! There’s the exit, come on, wake up Byrne! I could use your help about now.... only ten more steps... What is that? There, in front of the exit! Oh no, it’s blocked by the beam! It must have fallen... Now what? Come on, turn around... find an entrance. We are not trapped; it’s going to be fine... Man, do I ever wish I had told him to lose some weight! Why isn’t he waking up?...My lungs now feel heavier than ever before, my eyes are watering and I can hardly see! My legs are going to collapse any minute! ... This is it; the moment. I cannot leave him... but it’ll be both our lives or just mine...! I have to go; I will never make it...
The beam directly above him was threatening to collapse within seconds... within those few seconds; Seth made a decision that would cost him a lifetime of innocent guilt. He left his friend and fled; he fled for his life.
What are you doing Seth...?
Save yourself....
He’s your friend Seth...
Save yourself...
Look at him lay there...
Save yourself.... go, go, forward, move, move.... there is a small window...
Go back, go back! You’ve got to help him, you’ve got to...
Save yourself...
Save yourself...
Save... save....

The exhausted soldier collapsed right there before that window. Luckily, another soldier was there to rescue him, after witnessing the scene. The soldier, with the others, was now at the point of despair for the losses; for no one could have possibly survived this length of time in such a maze of flames. The soldier quickly swept Seth up out of the window and carried him to safety. Immediately, Seth was given medical attention; his lungs needed oxygen and ashes covered his body. His skin had a smell of burning rubber, so strong even the sweetest scent could not erase it. His face had a burn so deep that one could hardly look upon his face, without touching their own face seeing if it too, had such un-humanly figure. Had he not dropped his fellow man within those seconds, he too would not have made it. His friend was gone.

As I stood there beside my father, I looked at his face and saw a look of compassion, love and almost one of disgust because his handsome son was scarred for life. It was supposed to be a year of adventure for the two friends and now, now only one came back. And the one who lay there was not himself; his face was covered with a soft cloth, bloodstained. His face was burnt. This was not just any burn, scar, blemish, or disfigurement. This was a reminder of that one night; the one night where his friend died. The friend whose funeral Seth had missed. A friend whose parents were very thankful for what Seth had done, but secretly wished he would have just been stronger and gone the extra mile so they too could celebrate love and heroism.

As I look upon them all, I see many emotions present. I see; hate for death, love for life, compassion for the sick, joy of peace, patience for healing, kindness of giving. Little did any there know. Little did any there realize the horrible effects this would have on their lives, on Seth`s life; that every time Seth woke up he would threaten to smash any thought of the lasting wound. The pain it would cause physically and mentally. Relationships would be broken.

Seth tried to save me. I linger here, unable to feel anything, for my emotions are non-existent. I feel a panging, almost guilt, because if only... If only I had woken up. If only I had gotten help for my addiction. If only I had not fallen for my temptation. If, if I had only not let the strong liquid burn down my throat. I have fallen asleep, to the extent that nothing could ever me, not even the inferno, threatening to take my life. Now it awakens me, faster than lightning in the dark sky. But the door is slammed shut. It is like glass crashing, on an everlasting heartache. A burn deeper then the deepest oceans and lasting like a scar on my heart. Everlasting damnation.
““36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, buy my Father only.42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”

~ Matthew 24:36,42

The author's comments:
I wrote this story for an assignment in my EWC 4U class.

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