People say that your life flashes before your eyes right before you die. That’s not true. My life was not as significant. Gandhi said that everything you do in life will be insignificant. But it’s important that you do it. My life was merely an opportunity, a chance. And I ruined it. And I’m sorry.
“Please don’t leave! Please, I beg of you!” She clasps my forearm so tightly, it produces a red mark and a twisting burn. I try not to look into her eyes. If I do, I would fall on my knees out of weakness for her, and it’d be the biggest dishonor I’d bring to my country, my family, and myself. “Let go!” I yelled. I tried to break free from her grip by pulling away from her, but she won’t let go and it’s now that I realize how strong she really is. She’s beautiful. Her charcoal black hair falls in wet straps along her rosy cheeks and her eyes are drowned in tears. But she’s still beautiful. “At least look me in the eyes one more time before you leave me!” She commanded forcefully. I turn my head away from her, avoiding the temptation as much as possible. She releases my arm, but then brings her hands to my face to turn it towards her. I squeeze my eyes tightly, but instead of her forcing them open, she kisses me; such soft lips and such a sweet taste - the sweetest. She caresses my cheek and then lets go. I turn around, open the door, and shut it behind me. I hear a scream and a squall of grief as I walk towards my inevitable destiny.
Her tears flood my mind as I strap myself to the seat of death. The taste of her lips still linger on mine. And her scream still echoes in my ears. My thoughts suffocate me like a cloud of hydrogen cyanide. I trained years for this moment, but that austere self-discipline that’s been taught to me is suddenly losing its grip. I knew it was going to happen, but it’s happening so fast. Too fast. Offering your life to the emperor is the ultimate virtue, yet it feels so wrong. I’m not ready. The Pacific Ocean is a gigantic sea of melancholy memories. As I fly over it towards the land of the enemy, I get lost; lost in the illusion that if I blow up a vessel carrying hundreds of sailors, it would make me a hero; lost in the last words of my comrade before he took off for a kamikaze mission: “You can have my dinner tonight”; lost in the thought of who’s having my dinner tonight and of her eating by herself. I can’t help but let one tear fill up the bottom of my aviator goggles. It blurs my vision, but it’s okay. It’s only my vision of reality and I think reality is the worst place to be in right now. As the targets get closer and closer, my heart starts beating faster and faster. My commandant said I needed no special skills for this task. All I had to do was fly straight. Straight into the heart of the enemy. I’d rather fly straight into the heart of the woman I love. My disquietude grows as I prepare myself for the final hit. I push the yoke forward and the nose of the plane aims directly at the ship in front of me. A clump forms in my throat and it becomes hard to swallow the fear. As I fly towards death, I was struck with the most painful eye-opener I have ever experienced: offering my life to the emperor is the biggest dishonor I brought to myself and to the love of my life. And it was only a few seconds and a few meters away before the end of me. My love for my country does not make level with the love I have for her. And I realized this with the utmost regret as my nose crashed into the heart of the ship, and my heart and body blew up into thousand pieces of sorrow and shame.
People say that your life flashes before your eyes right before you die. That’s not true. All I saw, was you. I love you. And I’m sorry.