Hi, guys! So I have been on FP before, but I was under a different username: DARKSOMEONE41. I haven't posted in years, though, and I like to think I've improved a little bit. This short story was written for one of my English classes last semester. The topic was to write about the future career you're going for.
This story is about a physical therapist, who works with wounded soldiers and veterans. This story is a little different because you will only hear one side of the conversation: the physical therapist's. Things might get a little confusing, but I'll explain it down in the AN at the end.
Without further ado, please enjoy!
Breathe in, breathe out. You're okay, you're okay. You're not there anymore. You are here. Yes, we are near the beach, but there is no sand around us. No, you will not be choked by dust and smoke. No, there isn't an IED. It's just Lucas; he accidentally dropped a barbell. Stay calm. You're safe here.
Breathe in, breathe out. I can help you. I know you didn't mean to hurt me. PTSD can have a strong hold on a person's mind. Don't apologize for it. I understand. Don't worry about me, I'll be okay. Think about yourself. It's natural for your arms to shake. It's natural for you to not be able to stand. You've been bedridden for weeks. You had shrapnel in your legs. You were burned. It's okay to be not okay; it's not okay to just give up.
Breathe in, breathe out. Stay calm, stay calm. Put the scalpel down. Who would even leave that here? No, we are not under attack. This is a safe place, I promise you. No, I would never lie. No, you are not in Afghanistan anymore. Cooper? What about him? Oh. I'm sorry. He's gone, remember? Yes, I'm telling the truth. Yes, you brought him home. The rest of your brothers went back for him. He's in safe hands now. No, you are not going to miss his arrival. You will see the American flag over his casket, I'll make sure of it. You have to trust me. You can trust me. Please trust me. Please put the scalpel down. There are no bullets here. You're imagining things. Please put it down. Please put it down!
I know. I know. No, I don't know, actually. I don't know what it was like for you. I never braved the sandstorms of Afghanistan, never faced the horrors of war. I don't know what it's like to not be able to sleep at night without fearing an enemy is behind you, but I do know that I am here to help you. I will get you on your feet again. I will get you to see Cooper one last time, but you have to trust me. Lean on me, brother. I've got you.
Breathe in, breathe out. Take one step at a time. Don't be ashamed of shaking. Yes, I know you were able to lift over two-hundred pounds only a few months ago. Yes, this is normal. Yes, I will get you back into the shape you were before. Yes, I will push you. No, I will not take it easy on you. Yes, you have my word. Yes, the rest of your team is still fighting. They're waiting for you. I know you guys are quick to get impatient, so let's not keep them waiting. Trust me, I've heard your commander before. He can get loud, but he just wants you back with them, where they can watch over you and know you're safe. They just want to watch your six again. What did he say to me? Well, I think it was something along the lines of, "Tell him that when he's better, he's running hills for a month." How does he know you're going to get better? You team guys don't give up quite so easily. Also, he told me to tell you to not get too lazy while you're here. Yes, "That's an order."
Well, well, well. Would you look at yourself now? You're able to walk again after how long of saying you couldn't? Oh, forget the crutches. You're up and moving, aren't you? You weren't able to do that too well a couple of weeks ago, were you? When can you see Cooper? Let's make a deal. You sit in that wheelchair and let one of your teammates take you, or you miss his funeral. Oh, I'm sorry. Did I forget to mention that it's today? You wouldn't want to miss it, would you? So stop throwing a hissy fit and show me what a real Navy SEAL can do.
I'm proud of you. You made it through. I know the sounds of those guns scared you, but you held it together. You honored your fallen brother, just like you always aimed to do. No, I can't get rid of that kind of pain. The heart is something sensitive, no matter who you are. If you ever need someone to get you out of a hospital bed and to walk again, I can do that. If you need someone to mourn with and honor Cooper with, look around you. You have your team. Your team is going to be the only real constant in your life. The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Your brothers have your back, but my work here is done. Farewell, soldier. Remember, "The Only Easy Day was Yesterday."
Breathe in, breathe out. You're okay, you're okay. You're not there anymore. You are here. You are safe here, I promise. I will get you back up on your feet, do you hear me? Lean on me. You will get better. Your team is waiting for you. Yes, you will be returning to the field, you have my word. Delta soldiers are some of the strongest men out there. Was I coerced into saying all of that? Well, maybe I was threatened a little bit. By who? Let's just say your leader refuses to take no for an answer. Of course your leader's outside. They promised to watch your six the second you joined their team, no matter where you are. I know you guys can get impatient, so let's not keep your team waiting. What else did your commander say? To rephrase, it was something along the lines of, "Tell him he better get back soon or he's running hills for a month." Did he say anything else? Well, as a matter of fact, he did. "That's an order."
So? Did you guys like it? Was it too confusing? If so, here's a bit of an explanation:
The story starts off with an unnamed physical therapist who is helping a wounded SEAL get back to his team after an IED explosion during a tour in Afghanistan. This accident, however, cost him the lives of one of his teammates, Cooper. After a PTSD attack caused by a dropped barbell, the SEAL asks to see his fallen teammate, and the physical therapist makes a deal with him: don't give up and I'll make sure you'll be well enough to make it to your buddy's funeral. Sure enough, the SEAL works hard and is able to make it to Cooper's funeral, even though he's in a wheelchair and not on his feet. After the funeral, the SEAL continues his therapy until he is able to deploy again. Even though the SEAL's therapy is done, the physical therapist's job isn't, and the story ends off with a new case involving a Delta soldier.
I hope you guys liked it. I know I enjoyed writing it. It was certainly a different style than I'm used to, but this was a lot of fun and an interesting idea for me to toy with. I hope to post more on here when I have the chance. Until my next work! Bye!