Bobby Joe McCoy knew he was different than most and always would be. There was no denying it, but in so many important ways, he was just like everyone else. He loved and needed to be loved; wanted to be of use, valued, and respected; craved to be touched, hugged, and to feel connected and accepted.
He built up his courage, knowing there would be stares, whispers behind his back, and ignorant hurtful things said to his face.
His friends urged him to come out when he was ready. They were there for him now, waiting outside in the pleasant warmth of the spring sun, not the cold artificial light he’d been in for so long. Bobby Joe craved to feel the warmth of the sun again.
He knew in his heart that he couldn’t, wouldn’t wait a moment longer. He took a deep breath, rolled through the doors of the army’s burn clinic and down the ramp and into the arms of his friends and family. With much of his body and face no longer recognizable to him, Sergeant Bobby Joe McCoy was finally ready to begin the next chapter of his life.
The sun felt wonderful, but not nearly as good as being surrounded by family and friends. He knew that, with their love and support, somehow he’d make it.