This is the introduction to the Christian novel I'm writing at the moment. I wanted to share a piece of it to try to get some opinions. I hope you enjoy it!
"If this keeps up, I'm going to blow my brains out."
It wasn't until I actually said those words that I realized I'd hit rock bottom. I didn't just say them. I meant them. My mind was already working out how I would do it. Dad's old hunting rifle was still in my closet. He'd shown me how to use it on multiple occasions when I was a teenager. I sometimes worried that he might have another one of his episodes and turn the thing on me. It wouldn't have been too out of character for him, but given our history, I can't say I would've blamed him, either.
Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself.
I don't know how or why you've come across this journal. But if my shrink's predictions are any indication, the tales that follow will probably sound like the rambling delusions of a madman. And maybe that description will be accurate. Maybe not. In a few days, I should have a better idea of what I will be facing.
Regardless, I'm a bit leery of this new treatment. According to my shrink, scientists have allegedly cracked the secrets of time travel. Go ahead and read that again. Yeah, I know. That's what I thought too. It's got to be a scam of some kind, right? I mean, I know technology has progressed a lot over the past fifty years. Glass-screened televisions were replaced by interactive holograms, ground-based cars finally gave way to the aeromobile. Even the military's standard assortment of assault rifles and body armor have been tossed aside in favor of invisibility cloaks and science-fiction style laser weapons.
But time travel? Come on, that's gotta be a hoax.
That's what I believed, anyway, until I called my health insurance company. Get this—they agreed to cover the expenses. It's hard enough to get any kind of money out of an insurance company. I can't imagine they'd agree to cover a procedure that isn't authentic, tested, and reliable. I wonder how much it would cost me without health insurance. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me angry. But that's another topic for another time.
Anyway, my first of these time-travel sessions is scheduled for Monday morning. I suppose some people would jump at the chance to go back and relive their childhood experiences. But not me. I'm dreading it. Doc hopes that the experiences will help me come to terms with the painful memories that have scarred me so deeply as well as give me a better understanding of my role in God's plan.
God's plan. Yeah. I used to believe all that stuff the pastors said on television about how God only wanted the best for His children and that we were not put here to suffer but to prosper. Faith in Jesus Christ was something I'd clung to when I was younger because He was all I had. I used to sneak downstairs early on Sunday mornings to listen to Fred Hoskins speak about Jesus, and I'd pray so hard that something would change in Mom and Dad so that they'd one day be completely different people. I wanted them to be normal parents. I wanted them to stop fighting all the time. I wanted my mother to quit drinking. I wanted Dad to stop yelling at of us and just love us. I wanted the kind of relationship with my parents that the other kids in school seemed to have with theirs. And for years, I prayed and prayed for it to happen. Pastor Hopkins used to say that miracles happened every day. So I figured that eventually one would have to happen in my house. One day I'd have the family I’d always wanted.
It never happened, of course. I don't really know why. I probably didn't deserve it for one reason or another. Whatever the case, as I got older, I stopped relying on God's protection. It felt like I was holding up a shield that wasn't there. And even though I still believe He exists today, I’ve learned to stop expecting Him to help me when I struggle. I was destined to be on my own, and I’ve tried to cope with that.
Then again, I guess the fact that I'm in therapy means I haven’t coped as much as I’d hoped. I guess I'll find out Monday.
Anyway, Doc suggested that I write in this journal after each session to try to sort out my feelings about the things I see and hear. It doesn't matter if it makes sense when I write it, he says. In time, he hopes it will. I have doubts about that, of course. I know what happened in my life. I vividly remember the events that left me so jaded and bitter about the world around me and the society that plagues it. Everything from my first fight to Mom's death lurks within my memory and torments me each and every waking hour of the day. If I could've forgotten these images, if there was a way to abandon all memory of the pain, I'd have done it long ago. I don't know what Doc hopes to prove. But I guess there's no harm in finding out.
After all, Dad's rifle will still be there when it's all over.
My name is Herbert. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. Everyone else does.
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