[WP] Instead of having flashbacks, a dead person is shown what-could-have-beens if he/she made a different decision in different milestones of his/her life. Welp, you are next in line.

This keeps happening to me. Year after year. Same shit, over and over again - and I'm so fucking fed-up of this goddamn game. The police have done investigations, wondering if I was behind these deaths, only to finally realize after lengthy investigation - that I am not.

I've even had a concerned police-detective talk to me about her strange belief that an unknown deal with Death must have been struck decades ago - it must have been the first time I died - next to my dying girlfriend, Nicole, listening to her sobbing as she was bleeding out - crying for her mother.

Nicole was only 15, we had just had our first kiss that night at a party. John was driving us all home from the party when a drunk-driver decided he would take his mac-truck for a late-night spin, ...right into the side of our car, cutting our car in-half, killing Andrew and John in the front seat instantly.

Nicole and I were trapped in the wreckage of the backseat, the back-half of the car was in the ditch, the other half was about 20 feet in front of me, raining Andrew & John's blood into the snow in front of me.

I quietly prayed to whoever would hear me, to please spare me - "I WILL DO ANYTHING TO LIVE!" ...I was crying so hard. I was only 16 and like anyone else, I didn't want to die in agony - bleeding out in a fucking ditch in the snow.

I couldn't bear hearing Nicole crying. Her death took forever. I kept trying to comfort her, but I knew I couldn't - her head was completely smashed by the side-window and I knew it would only be a matter of time before she faded away. She couldn't seem to hear me anyway. It was maddening and unfair to me. She was so young, so beautiful, so innocent. As I was passing out from blood-loss, I heard a strange unknown male voice whisper in my ear; "You Live, but shall carry Death with you" ...That was 1986.

Over the next couple of years I went through the usual 'survivors guilt', and obviously, I've lived with extreme PTSD ever since. I lost all interest in the usual things that most people care about. I never got my license to drive, I was too afraid.

I stopped bonding with others, because I could only see them as bags of blood and brittle bones that snap like twigs when seduced by the torque of gravity's reality when heavy-metal meets soft flesh. Heh, that sounded poetic. Fuck it - it's true. It was inevitable to me, everyone I see - will die one day, so why bother feeling anything for them? I went ice-cold inside.

I realize now, that I did - indeed DIE that night, and what was left - was nothing but a fucking zombie, a nobody, with no reason to exist - and no longer a will to live.

I joined the military in 1989 - just in time before the Gulf War began - and for me, to hopefully die in battle. Maybe then I'd serve a fucking purpose.

Except I didn't die, especially when I SHOULD have.

I won't cover all the details because it's too much to get into right now, ...suffice to say - on the anniversary of the car accident - a single grenade wiped out 4 men of our six man team, ...my C.O. was the only other man to make it out of there because he was out of the room when it happened.

But I wasn't, ...I was there when the grenade came in the window as the guys were looking at a map of the area.

No one had anytime to respond, ...whoever threw it knew how to properly cook the grenade. POP - and all my buddies were mush.

I was deafened, bleeding from my ears. My eyes still stinging from the atomized blood in the air mixed with the salty dust of Kuwait's sands, making a thick bloody muck that covered everything in the room. I remember pushing my hand through my hair and realizing the blood all over me wasn't mine. I dizzily picked a dismembered arm off of me and felt myself passing out.

I woke up in medical with hardly a scratch on me. Now even more desperate to understand "WHY ME! ...WHY ME ALONE?" My C.O. had no answers, he was as fucked up emotionally as I was, ...almost. We stayed in-touch over the years, but eventually after about 15 years of this shit - he had to try to live again and move-on from the depressing subject-matter of 'Me'. (It's OK Ken, if you ever read this, I understand and forgive you brother. I could never hold it against you after you got me out of there. I hope you're OK. I hope you haven't suffered the fallout of my 'curse'.)

So yeah, I've been depressed & suicidal for a very long time now, but everytime I get close to actually doing it - something changes my mind or stops me in some fashion. Maybe I'm just a fucking coward.

Every year since that car accident, someone I know dies terribly on the same date. And I, ...I'm just fucking numb now.

Why am I numb? Because it's the same date again now, thirty years later.

I fucking wish this was fiction.

Last night I had a dream, that I was given a choice, to go back to 1986 and choose to NOT go to the fated party with John & Andrew, to NOT meet Nicole that night. To NOT kiss her passionately against the wall and ask her if she wanted a drive home. It felt so real, ...like I really had a choice.

But what do you do in the face of a memory? ...You replay it, ...again and again, not realizing of course, that perhaps THIS TIME - you have a choice - to change things, ...to make things right finally.

And so, I woke up again, in this world, where my friends are dead.

And really, ...so am I.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread