I come out of the nightmare as I always do. Knife in hand and hungry for blood. In the darkness of the room I hear Lance exhale slowly against the knife at his throat. With careful deliberation he reaches and turns on the light. His eyes focus and readjust. And I know what he must see.

I’m covered in cold sweat, my body shakes, and my eyes are a little too focused, a little to wild. I close my eyes and take a deep breath before I roll to my back next to him.

I can’t tell him what the nightmare was, that it was reality being lived again, my past I can never erase. He’s seen my scars, the skin deep ones anyway.

I turn my head to the side and watch his quiet eyes for a moment. There’s a peace in them, a peace I’ll never have. “The setback of having scars is they all have a memory. Some good some bad.”

“I knew a man once who said, ‘scars are the way wars honor their survivors.'”

“Scars are the cost of surviving.”

Lance lifts onto his elbow and studies me for a minute, “You don’t think any of those scars are honorable?”

I trace the thin line of blood along his neck, some things aren’t worth lying about. “Honor is something valued by fools and dead men. I’m neither.”

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