I've Been Dying Inside Since...
When I was 17 years old, I was jumped in a sidestreet. At the time I was used to fighting due to a quarrel I had with most of the kids on my high school's baseball and football teams. I would make fun of their hip-hop music and they would try to fight me for it. When they realized they couldn't win fighting me one-on-one they started bringing more people, as well as weapons into the fights.
After the first time I wielded a knife in a fight I cut a boy's arm from his elbow to his wrist. He was a boy I knew and went to school with, and after that, the only time i used a knife in a fight, even when severely outnumbered, was to use it as a fist-hardener.
One night, however, when I was coming out of an end-of-the-year dance, four guys jumped me in a narrow alleyway/sidestreet. They had completely blocked the way to my car. One of them told me, "You screwed with the wrong people" and pulled a gun. By this time I was quite close to him and don't quite remember how the next bit happened. Somehow I managed to disarm him. I threw only one punch that night. The boy dropped instantly after that punch. Later I would learn that it had collapsed his trachea and he suffocated.
This incident has been plaguing my life ever since. I have nightmares and 6 years later can't forgive myself for killing a kid. When I think about how much I have changed in those years, I have to wonder where he might be now. Not the pretentious jerk trying to impress his buddies...but maybe a successful college graduate? I have never been in the armed forces. I didn't kill an enemy. I killed a kid with a future, and I'm having a hard time living with it.