Do you really want to be a Sniper?


“Do you really want to be a Sniper?“


Javier Straffon Rincón

Eugenio Saenz Ramos


His father was in the military, and served proudly. He was a strong man, big beard, the perfect “macho”, and his hero. His father had served in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, World War 2, you name it. He even had 47 confirmed kills. While that was something not to be proud of, his father said, he (his father) would always mention that fact casually at family barbeques. They would not see each other very much, since his father was always on duty, but when they did Jimmy could not resist imitating his father, and asking him to tell him his war stories. As he grew older, the appreciation and idolization of his father became an obsession. At the young age of 13, Jimmy thought he knew what he wanted in life: he wanted to serve his country like his father, and he wanted to be an even better marine than his father was. He wanted his son to look at him the same way he looked at his father. So Jimmy started working out, training hard, and reading military books. He was so obsessed with his goal, that he never even stopped to think if he really liked the military, or the military life. Time, with its steady and fast rhythm continued on, until Jimmy was now a high school student. He was the strongest at school, and he was secretly proud of that. He never studied and failed miserably at most of his classes because he always said to himself, “Why do I need books, if I’m going to become a marine” or “The knowledge I seek is not here.” He refused help from his teachers on picking a major, since his life goal was so “clear”. He really did enjoy cooking class, though. Finally, the day when Jimmy could finally enroll in the marines came, and not too much time after that, he was already on his first mission in Asia. His superiors noticed that he had a really sharp eye, so they encouraged him on becoming a sniper. The military life was tiring, dangerous, and sometimes boring. He was living his dream, and he really did not feel like it. He decided to ignore the thought. The only time he felt fulfilled and alive was when he was on cooking duty, because he had to cook for his squadmates. He certainly did love cooking, he thought, but he hid it from everyone since he thought it did not fit his “macho” image. Four years had gone by, and Jimmy was about to embark on what would probably be his most important mission yet: beating his father’s 47 confirmed kills mark. They were tied, and Jimmy’s sniping had gotten him a reputation. If he could kill his 48th “bad guy” that day, he would finally be able to be his father’s equal, or even better: his superior. However, the idea did not excite him as much anymore. He had seen lots of suffering during his marine duty, and he still felt unfulfilled. He wondered if it was worth it.  Jimmy was on his sniper’s nest, about to pull the trigger on his 48th kill (a terrorist, obviously), when he accidentally slipped and saw with his scope a restaurant, far away from the danger zone, in which some chef’s were going out with a smile. They had ended their shift, and seemed to be very happy. Suddenly, Jimmy could not pull the trigger anymore. He knew that he had been lying to himself all this time. He wanted to be a chef.



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