A spark of flint, then a burst of flame and the Bic lighter was alive, glowing like a serpent’s eye. It had finally come to this. Things were going so well too: I had money, dreams, a whole future figured out. Now I was a drunken liar, facing criminal charges and jail time; sadly I was only nineteen. Hungover with a broken knuckle and no memory of how it happened, to top it all off my butterfly knife, a deadly weapon made for surgically precise combat, was missing. Were the cops looking for me? And arrested before my next trial would send me to prison for sure. My only real option was to quit drinking, but if I did I'd have to face reality; however I would have to do it alone. I had to decide. The Bic lighter continued to heat. The striker and the metal cover formed a smile, a dark smile concealing hot teeth that were ready to claim a permanent piece of my arm. I had already quit so many times, each ending dismally the first time I was offered a drink. "Enough of this wishy washy bullshit," I said. "If you are serious this time then prove it, put the lighter to you skin and prove it. Let it be a mark of your decision to never drink again." There was a whiff of smoldering hair, then flesh, as the Bic lighter turned branding iron melted into my arm; I was so numb with self disgust that it didn't feel the blister rupture as the burn passed the second degree. I never made a sound.
Barbaric? Yes, it was. None the less, that scar a symbolized my deliverance. I would look at it daily in the months to come and it would give me courage, strengthening my resolve when my will began to falter, and although it is just another spot on a leopard to others, it titles the darkest and most glorious ...
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.... While as adults we may learn lessons but we just don't fill other people in. I don't suppose it would do though to have a motorcycle dealer telling people that no matter how good they were, dumb luck and dumb drivers will always be their to kill them when they least expect it. He never said it, but the scars on his head explained it all.
Scars are like milestones, dotting the landscapes of our lives, marking their owner with a permanent reminder of the past, something undeniable, and irremovable. They can be insignificant in size but have great meaning, or cover the body and only testify to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way they are a part of the person called you. Look at your hands your knees and remember the lessons you learned so that you do not repeat the same mistakes. The reason we have scars is so that we never forget how we got them.
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