Beautifully Broken:Reckless Bastards MCBy: KB Winters
“I don’t know what you want me to say, Doc. It wasn’t even long enough to be a fucking nightmare. I closed my eyes and there I was on the transport vehicle, seconds later the explosion happened that deafened me and made it damn hard to see. Body parts went flying and then everything went black. I woke up a sweaty and panting mess.” I looked over at Dr. Singh, a tall lanky man with dark brown skin who’d perfected the look of wearing dad sweaters. In the fucking desert.
He nodded, ankle resting on the opposite knee while his hands were clasped on top of his notebook. “Nightmares have no designated length, Max as I’m sure you know. What did you do after you woke up?”
I couldn’t tell him that I’d reached for that hidden bottle of Maker’s Mark because he’d already bitched me out about my drinking. “I played some video games and stared at the fucking stars. What else could I do?”
Dr. Singh sighed. “Max, you have to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Having a drink once in a while is fine, but you can’t use it to dull the pain or shutdown the memories.”
“Yeah, no shit.” I smirked and even the Doc couldn’t help but join in. “So something other than video games?”
He nodded. “Something outside of your house, maybe that involves other people. Would that be so terrible?”
Shit. I sat back in the stylish chair that was not meant for a man of my size and sighed. “No, I guess not. But I don’t know, shit I haven’t done anything for fun in a long damn time.”
He nodded and his perfectly styled hair never moved. “How about you go do some things just for fun. Sleep with a pretty lady. Go out for a meal, Vegas is off in the distance and I hear they have some decent restaurants.”
I glared at him. “Everyone’s a fucking comedian.”
Dr. Singh laughed. “The point is, Max, that you need to do some things for fun. Not to forget and not to dull the pain. You said you used to draw, why not sign up for a class?”
Sign up for a fucking class? “No offense but I’m a little old for that.”
“Not at a college. This is the twenty first century, Max. There are adult classes, even businesses that cater to this kind of thing. Your job, before our next session is to go out there and find an art class. Sign up and just fucking do it.”
I shrugged, taken aback by hearing his cultured accent say the word fuck. “You got it, Doc.” I hated having to see a fucking head shrink but Singh seemed to know his shit and he didn’t treat me like a fucking headcase. “I’ll see you next week.”
“I look forward to it.”
My boots sounded loud on his hard wood floors as I walked out. The lobby was empty, not that I gave a shit, but I didn’t have to do that fake smile bullshit people expected. These days I was much better on my own because I was a cranky, miserable bastard. Had been ever since I was medically discharged from the Navy.
I spent nearly all of my adult life in the Navy and most of that as a sniper for the elite, SEALs. I loved it, all of it from recruit training to BUD/S and jump school. It was the most exciting shit I’d ever done and I ate it all up, doing good and saving the world, all while being a badass. It meant something to me just like it meant something to all of us. Our unit was family. We’d trained together, fought together, spotted together and killed together. And one damn day in that dirty fucking desert, many of us died together. The only problem was only some of us came back.
Sometimes I think it would’ve been better if we’d all died out there that day because this life, filled with nightmares and paranoia, it was just bullshit. Coming back like this was worse than not coming back at all, because at least if you were dead this shit just stopped. The memories were gone. The pain was gone.
Now though, the pain was constant. Never fucking ending.
The sun helped and every day when I woke up and had coffee out on my deck, I thanked fuck that I’d chosen to come to the desert. Nonstop sun and heat was good for my mental health according to the good doctor, and sun all day made me feel lighter. Freer.
But the sun alone wasn’t fucking working so now I had to look for an art class.