Once upon a time, Summer was my sunshine, my life. I was her protector.

But the call to defend my country was stronger.

I left her behind, a decision that has haunted me every day since.

I returned from the battlefront a shell of my former self, scars visible and invisible marking me. Our paths crossed again unexpectedly at the veteran’s support group, her shocked gasp ringing in my ears. I was a ghost from her past, back from the dead.

Guilt is as heavy as armor. War has marked me with a million reasons why I don’t deserve her. She’ll never understand how my life took a dark turn, and I fell into a den of vipers.

They’re still lurking in the shadows.

My love for her could make her a target.

My secrets aren’t just burdens—they’re a loaded gun, a constant danger. Can I keep them from destroying the one ray of light in my life?

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