Assylum_Painting_2.jpg

Memory won't fade

I press the green button, and the heavy metal gate opens in front of me. 

Outside, I find a few doctors and nurses waiting for me, with smiles on their faces. One of the doctors in the middle says:"Congratulations, Val. I can announce that you are now able to leave the asylum and try and live a normal life. I understand that you always feel that you have failed as a soldier, and because of that your friends and family died in the war. We have tried many different ways to help you, but we have to admit they are terrible ways to treat patients. I am glad that this set-up experience has helped you to re-discover yourself." He sighs deeply, and continues: "It is time to release them from your mental prison, and mostly importantly, release yourself from self-punishment."

I think he's right, but this is going to be difficult. Having my friends and family live inside me was the best I could do to feel that I had a normal life and they had never left.

But I guess now I should let them go and free my soul.

I walk forward towards the beautiful sunset - the last time I saw one was on the last day of war. Next to me now, I see people, that are as traumatised as me by the war, trying to stay strong and support each other with the recovery of this little town. I should probably do the same.

Just outside the asylum building, I see dozens of gravestones. The largest one is engraved with "Abaddon Cemetery 8, remembering the loved ones and the nameless". I pick up some wild flowers by the road, and put them carefully in front of a few gravestones:

To Virginia, my beloved wife.

To Earl, the sweetest son.

To Abbott, who's always been a supportive sister.

To Rosie, the most loyal family friend and an inspiration.

I can now finally move on.

Well done! You have been discharged!