It was a few steps forward, twice removed, seconds away from pulmonary distress. The rough patches of ocher blisters felt like frozen ice lodged in his windpipe, a cowardly conviction that he wouldn’t dare speak. His fault. His mistake. His responsibility. Him, a filthy traitor. The constricting bracelets felt like bleeding handcuffs, prosecuting him for his blithe misunderstanding. This was never my intention, yet why am I riddled with disorienting guilt? One voice asked in attrition. It’s not you to blame if you didn’t know. Awareness is key. Another reasoned out calmly. Ignorance is the enemy of reason. A third entity argued in hostility. Every choice made sense, thus, he told them all to shut up so he could think. He bit down on his raw cheek until bile flooded his throat and metastasised as an abrasive lump. The bloodied bruise tasted like a salty alibi in his mouth. He submerged his soberness in liquid regret until it drowned, and sunk in inebriation. After he could think no longer, he made his final decision. He carried through. He knew it was unfathomably wrong, fatally so. But it was warranted.
It was just another scar tissue he had to permanently hide.