In a better world, Jamison would not have been ‘off.’ But a traumatic brain injury received in Iraq had brought him to this point in his life if life is what one could call it.
When it began, he couldn’t remember. All Jamison knew was that hiding under the brilliant white sheet made him feel better.
And that’s how he moved around the house. He had cut-outs for his eyes and socks on his perpetually freezing feet, another oddity from the blast of the improvised explosive that discharged, killing nearly everyone in the Humvee.
Quietly he moved from room to room doing odds and ends. Other times he could be found standing at the window of his bedroom looking out at the rope swing he and his children once played on.
It was at the window where he first saw the other, a white sheet-clad person, like him, standing in their window some one-hundred feet away. The figure waved at him. Obligingly, Jamison returned the wave before turning away.
For the next two days, he didn’t see the person in the window. Then on the third, they were back.
Jamison smiled. He realized that it had been a long time since he’d last smiled or even had a reason to.
It was the fourth day when everything changed. He watched as the sheet-clad figure slowly slid the white cloth from themselves.
Horrified, Jamison jumped back from the window and quickly drew the blinds. Shaken by what he’d seen, he sat on the end of his bed, only to find himself awaking under the blankets the following day.
As he laid there, he thought. Soon, and without the security of his sheet, he walked into the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror, something he had not done in a long time.
Again, horror overcame him, but this time he stood his ground against shrinking away. He knew he had to face the truth, that, like the old lady across the yard in the other house, he too was dead.