The Preacher sat beside me. He said nothing. His weathered face had seen the same horrors as my own, the deep wounds healed by time and patience. I collapsed into his arms and cried and he said nothing, he just held me.
The Sheriff looked at me through the bars of the cell and he just shook his head. The scars were deep and painful and his anger boiled beneath the surface. For too long he had bled, unable to bear the sight of a young man, so willing to die.
The Doctor took great care with me. I had been to so many places, so many times. The wounds stretched deep, deeper than the flesh and the bone. I had travelled great distances in the name of service. I had seen the world and every minute of it.
The Recruiter told me of the technology. His boyish face was young like my own and he was so full of enthusiasm. I would see the world. I would meet its people. I would make everyone proud and defend our way. So blind he was, so blind I didn’t see.
The Teacher took great care and told me of the future. He explained the machines and their purpose, the loops and the risks. He was like the father a boy should have had.
I look back now, sitting on that church bench beside my troubled self, gripping the iron bars and berating my foolish self, watching the flicker of hate of my wounded self, the naive stupidity of my boyish self and wonder what that teacher saw.
I’ve lived to see a thousand times. And in everyone I have found myself and realised I have never known who I am.
Prompt originally posted by AnCapGamer on reddit and received 18 upvotes.