Louisa squeezes inside the phone booth, pushing her body against the far wall to close the sliding door behind her. “Archaic,” she thinks to herself, she had read about these booths in her history book and had always wondered why they were replicated. She is confined in the tight space, but comfortable enough to not get cramped. The space is built to be large enough for one person. She feels around in her pocket and pulls out a small, metallic key card with a yellow lanyard attached to it. With the card in her hand, she inserts it into a small slot in the bottom of the device, illuminating the screen in front of her. \
“Do you wish to be made available?” the screen asks, displaying a prompt on the touch screen asking for confirmation. She selects yes, followed by her four-digit pin associated with her personal account on the planet. This pin keeps track of her every move while on foreign soil. She waits patiently for a few seconds, staring at the screen as it blinked from yellow, to green, and then back to yellow. The terminal is small, barely twelve inches from corner to corner, but large enough for her to make out the words. It is an older model from what she used back on Earth, she figured the government didn’t want to spend excessive amount of money on this project.
She waits patiently for a few more seconds as the screen turned blue with a visible prompt, “Incoming Call from Mom.” Her contacts were transferred from Earth, making life a bit simpler on this rock by adding a brief amount of familiarity without being too complicated. She pressed the screen, accepting the call and reaching for the small handheld device on her left. She picks it up and brings it to her face.
“Mom?” she asks, making sure her mother was on the other line before she continues with the conversation.
“Louisa, where are you!?” she screams, panicking over her daughter’s whereabouts, the shrill of her voice radiating through the phone.
Louisa pulls the receiver away from her ear and winces in pain, shaking it off before putting it back against her head. “Mom, I’m ok,” she replies calmly.
“Then why haven’t you answered your phone?” She continues, still with a great sense of panic in her voice. “How am I supposed to know that you are safe there on that planet when you do not answer your phone?”
“Mom, it’s tucked away in my duffel bag and I didn’t hear it ring,” Louisa lies, having heard it ring repeatedly, but without the time to fish through her bag to get it. She was so happy when the battery died and the phone finally stopped ringing. “I’m sorry, but I’m ok.”
There is a brief silence as Louisa listens to her mother exhale softly, trying to calm herself as best she can. “Have you at least made it to the train station yet?”
Louisa looks around at the area, noticing the chaos and upheaval around her. Though quiet, the aura of the area was uneasy because the few people she has encountered are sprinting with their loved ones and belongings. “No, but I’ll be there shortly,” she replies, hearing noise behind her outside of the booth. Louisa paused, looking around to see two heavily armed security personnel running past her booth. “Mom, I was just thinking we’ve done amazing things on this planet. Some of which I can’t even fathom with my own eyes. The animals that we came here to research, and save, combined with the hundreds of people we helped, has been an incredibly experience that I wouldn’t trade anything for. However, our wonderful government has decided that our jobs are done and it is time for us to return home, no matter what the reason or circumstance is. Our observations and investigations, combined with our research, are going to help the lives of many.”
“I think so to Louisa. I’m worried about you returning home. There are a lot of people running around aimlessly out there. Please hurry to the shuttle.” she replies. “I know you’re an adult now, but you’re still my daughter and I will always worry about you.”
“I know, mom,” says Louisa as she watched the security personnel stop several feet from her, holding their rifles up to aim at something. “Mom I just want to say before I go that you are an amazing mom and will do wonders for the people of our world, and any other we happen to come across. Your skills as a meddling scientist, veterinarian, and inventor will help shape the lives of everyone.”
Her mother pauses, chuckling lightly into the receiver and thanked her. “I’m not a scientist, but I do like to meddle.”
“I know,” Louisa replies still looking out at the security personnel holding their guns out. “I’m only a quarter of a mile away from the station. I’ll be there shortly.”
“Alright, but please hurry,” her mother replies. “Your Uncle Wayne should already be at the takeoff zone waiting for you and I have two seats saved on this transport for the both of you. Please hurry.”
“I will.” she replies as the phone cut out, leaving Louisa speaking to a dial tone. She leans forward and opens up the booth, picking up her bags and throwing them over her shoulder before starting to make her trek toward the departure station. She walks forward quickly, hearing a loud, gurgling scream followed by four shots from a large rifle, followed by two shots from another. Louisa turned back, looking at the commotion to see the two soldiers quickly back peddling away from the disfigured man. More shots were fired, this time into his legs as he collapsed, attempting to crawl toward them.
The creature was once human, with incredibly pale, oily skin, greasy hair and yellow eyes sunken back into his skull. He walked with a noticeable limp, hunched over from the small of his back and dragging his arms at his side. His words are inaudible, coming across as grunts and moans, unable to piece together the sounds needed to create words. His demeanor is wretched, carrying a scowl across his face as he refuses to break eye contact with the two men who shot him.
Deciding she had seen enough of this bizarre scene, Louisa turns back and starts walking briskly to the departure platform, carrying both of her bags on her shoulder she moved quickly down the road. More and more of those creatures have been popping up lately. It is a big factor in the evacuation. As she’s walking, several screens along the road light up, illuminating the area with the news of what was happening. The familiar voice of the colony director filled the area through the loudspeakers attached to the monitors, alerting the area of the impending collapse.
“Colonists, if you are still on this planet, I urge you to please make your way to the departure platform immediately,” he states. “I cannot reiterate enough to you how imperative it is that you make it to the platform in the next few minutes, as the transports have to get out of the atmosphere,” he pauses, collecting himself as he adjusts his glasses. “Of all of you remaining, scientists, engineers, and devoted volunteers, I personally thank you for staying until the end. Your dedication to the creatures we came here to save, as well as the ecosystem they thrived in, is a credit to your hard work. Everything that we have accomplished is owed to you, and this planet is in your debt. However, a tragic disease is sweeping through this area. Of the fifty thousand men and women that were sent here a year ago, forty thousand have already been evacuated, leaving their lives here in an instant to return home to their families, friends, and communities. The ten thousand of you opted to wait, letting your fellow travelers leave while you stayed and finished the job you started. While commendable, your time on this planet is up and you must evacuate.”
Louisa continues to move briskly towards the train station that will take her directly to the departure platform, reaching it with time to spare as the screens are still lit up. Most of the population is unaware of exactly what is going on. They were trying to minimize panic so until now all they have been told is that there is a controlled outbreak. It seems now the director is ready to share the details.
“Four weeks ago, we discovered that a small mutation in one of the organisms on this planet was creating the environment needed for a pandemic. That pandemic, a disease that infects a large number of the population, could be catastrophic for us in this small, isolated community. We separated ourselves from that mutation, studying it under complete care so that we could discover what caused this mutation in this organism, while still trying to achieve our goals and stay within our mandate. However, our fears were realized when the first person was infected by this mutation. Patient zero, as this person is referred to, was careless in his research, subjecting himself to the mutation to see how it would affect him. After a few days, and several rounds of whatever treatment we could offer him, he should have died. However, his heart started beating faster and his blood started pouring through his veins quicker, causing them to turn red. That, unfortunately, was the first symptom. Prior to that, he showed no irregularities or symptoms to suggest that he was ill.”
She makes it onto the train, sitting down in the first seat she can find and putting the two bags in front of her. She looks around at all of the people on the train, most of them looking at their arms to see the large, red veins bulging from their skin. Panic stricken, most of the people on the train lean back, listening in at the monitor to see if the director had any news about a cure before they turned into the creatures who succumbed to the mutation. Louisa turns her arms over to reveal nothing out of the ordinary. She sighs in relief silently as the door to the train closed and it took off for the departure platform, leaving only the few monitors to fill the awkward silence. “If you are infected, please don’t panic or do anything soundly that will result in harm to you or someone else. You will be allowed to board a separate, quarantined vessel that will dock at a space station while we administer what treatments we have that can neutralize the mutation. There is hope, so please do not panic. However, because of this mutation and the potential harm it can carry if left unchecked, our government will be firing two, incredibly large, incendiary missiles, with the objective of igniting the entire planet on fire. I apologize, but unfortunately, all of the work we’ve done to save these animals has been in vain. They will be collateral damage. I pleaded with the President, but he will have nothing of it, telling me that the safety of mankind is more important than an animal on a foreign planet.”
“But fear not,” he continues. “The flora and fauna of Planet 10 will live on. At the behest of the investors who helped fund this mission, several species of plant and wildlife have been relocated to another planet. They’ve been placed in a large dome, meant to mimic the exact ecosystem that they came from. Those plants were immediately tested for the mutation, and all tests came back negative. While the hard work on this planet was for naught, the creatures will live on.”
Louisa leans back in her chair as the train was nearing its final stop. Her dark, shoulder length hair was bound by a few pins above her shoulders, accenting her perfectly round face. Her lips were lush and beautifully red, and her cheeks are rosy with well-defined features and a cute small nose. Her eyebrows are neatly kept, highlighting her brown eyes. She is gorgeous, though told she looked too much like her father growing up. She is wearing her favorite outfit, making sure it went home with her incase her bags were lost: khaki pants with black military issued boots and a white tank top with a khaki sleeveless jacket over it with enough pockets in the jacket to keep everything she needed for research. Louisa was smart, just like her mother, having spent the past fourteen years in a research academy instead of the typical grade school. There she focused on math and science, while only touching the high points in the other subjects. This prepares Louisa for the life she had always dreamed about: interstellar researcher.
Planet 10 is a misleading name, because it is actually the eleventh planet that a colony has been established by the government of the United States. Following the establishment of territory on Mars, the rest of the solar system proved to be unsuitable for full scale colonization. Small military and research facilities were built on several moons and a vast number of space stations were commissioned to assist with future, full scale colonization. Soon after the infrastructure in the solar system was built, the astronomers and politicians began looking toward other systems. After a few months, and many finds of suitable planets, the expansion was ready to commence. All of the unsuitable planets were given a letter and a sector to be associated with, but all of the suitable planets, capable of supporting life, were given a number.
“If you do notice that you are infected, again, please do not panic,” the voice of the director continues. “The situation is not dire, but it is quite urgent. You’ll feel a sense of thirst, which, no matter how much you drink, won’t be satisfied. You’ll feel as if you’re suffocating, but you’re not. Your heart is beating faster, pumping the blood at a rate that the oxygen you’re inhaling isn’t able to keep up. Stay calm and breathe normally; do not hyperventilate. You will pass out. After that, your vision will become blurred and your joints will ache. Your back will start to slouch, which alerts us that the transition is nearly complete. Whatever happens, stay calm, because if you panic, you won’t help anyone.”
Louisa looks away from the screen as it pulls into the departure platform. She reaches down and grabs her bag, walking off the moment the doors open to find her Uncle Wayne waiting on her. “There you are,” he says joyfully, opening his arms to hug her as she got off the train. Wayne was a taller man with sandy brown hair and a positive disposition. His shoulders were broad, thought not overly muscular. He took care of himself, eating right and exercising to make himself quite athletic. He isn’t as smart as his sister, though still had the knack for learning. He dedicated himself to being a spacecraft engineer, creating new vessels and buildings related to the spacecraft. After years of serving in the government army, traveling to the various moon bases and space stations, Wayne opted to settle down on Earth and take up a career as a spacecraft technician and pilot. However, upon returning home, he was informed by his sister that she and her daughter would be traveling to Planet 10 to investigate a rare species of animal and begin the colonization process. Without much thought, Wayne volunteered to travel to Planet 10. He signed on as an engineering specialist, tasked with the creation of hangers for spacecraft, maintenance of the machinery, and operation of any ship in the land fleet. “Your mother has been blowing my phone up.”
“I know. I spoke to her at a terminal on the way to the train station,” she replies, releasing the embrace and walking with her uncle toward the large transport. The ship was massive, filling up half the three hundred meter hanger and easily a hundred meters tall with the flag of the United State prominently displayed on the side of the ship. The ship only had a few windows, but as Louisa and Wayne approach, they can see her mother looking on at them with a smile on her face.
“Sir!” a soldier screams at Wayne as he escorted Louisa to the last transport. “Sir, I apologize, but you’re needed at the other ship. The pilot said that was something wrong with the steering gears.”
Wayne sighs, stopping in tracks before looking back at his niece. “Get on the ship; I’ll see you back on Earth.”
Louisa is perplexed. “You’re not coming with us?”
“Not on that ship,” he says calmly. “Once I fix the steering column on the other ship, I’ll leave myself in the cockpit in case something happens. I’ll get a transport from the space station to Earth and meet you and your mother in a day or two.”
She nods slowly, processing what was going on. “Alright,” she says softly, hugging her uncle again before walking over to the ship to stand in the line. Wayne ran over to the other ship, running up a ladder and entering the cockpit, and closing the door behind him. Louisa looked at the line and how slow it was moving. She holds both of her bags around her shoulders while queuing politely. She looked at the people around her, most with incredibly large, red veins on their arms with some having them on their necks as well. “Why are they in this line?” she thinks, looking ahead at the security personnel who are turning everyone away who appeared to be infected.
“This is why it’s not moving,” she says quietly, standing up on her tip toes as she looked over the mass of infected people, watching the security personnel become frustrated.
“This is pointless,” one of the soldiers says walking onto the ship and pulling his companion with him, closing the door behind him and pressing a giant button on the wall to alert the pilot to take off. In a panic, Louisa’s mother runs away from the window, feeling the ship starting to move to head to the door.
Louisa, trying to stay calm, jumps out of the line and runs over to the other ship as the first transport left the bay. She looked up, seeing her uncle alone in the cockpit. Completely bewildered, Wayne looks out at his niece, shaking his head at what was happening as he tries his best to open the cock pit door.
Louisa’s mother went back to the window and looks out at the planet as they quickly enter the atmosphere. Tears start to flow down her face because her daughter has been left on the planet to be killed by her own government. The transport is in the outer parts of the atmosphere, sitting beside a very large, black vessel carrying two egg-shaped objects at the bottom of its hull. One, and then the second, dropped from the vessel and entered the atmosphere, heading in opposite directions before exploding into a giant orange cloud, blanketing the planet in an orange dust.
“Is that how it starts?” She asks the man beside her, noticing the bag between them twitching. He nodded slowly, looking on in a state of shock at the number of people left on the planet to die. The ship turned with every window closing, standard procedure before traveling at light speed. With a quick thrust, the ship was moving through space at the speed of light and the transport had Planet 10 in at its rear with Earth as its destination.
Screams fill the area as Finley George rolls over, pulling the cover over his head to drown out the sounds from the stairs above. The basement, though dark and cool, amplifies the shrill tone of his mother’s voice. His eyes opened slowly, blinking a bit as his mother continued to scream at the top of her lungs for him to finally get out of bed. He squints his eyes before throwing himself over on his back, looking up at the wooden rafters above his bed while still trying to focus his eyes.
“Finley George! Get out of that bed this instant!” She screams again, this time closer to the door and causing her voice to echo off of the concrete walls. He remains on his back, still looking up at the rafters as his eyes slowly came into focus, though fuzzy from not having on his glasses. His eyesight wasn’t wonderful, though he could usually make out shapes well enough to find his spherical glasses. He would wear those until he could put on his contacts. “Finley! Get up! I need you to water the plants this morning before you go to work!”
“Water the plants?” He whispers to himself as he looks around the room, trying to find a clock in the shadowy labyrinth that is his basement bedroom. It is dark, just as he likes it, with posters all over the walls of superheroes, alien worlds, and science fiction creatures. At age twenty, he hasn’t amounted to much in his life yet. He is a part time cashier at a retail store with a girlfriend who may or may not truly like him, though he tries his best every day to stay with her no matter what. He turns his head slightly as he hears the doorknob start to turn, the gears sliding and the pin moving. “Why are you waking me up so early!?” He screams in frustration, rolling over to his side and grabbing his glasses. The door opens and a tall, red haired figure is standing at the top of the steps leading into his basement. His hand hovers over the light switch, and with a light flick, the three fluorescent lights in the room light up, illuminating the room and forcing Finley to shield his eyes.
He removed his hand, pulling them back to see his father looking on at him with a very stern, penetrating gaze. Finley slowly turns his body over and places his feet on the floor. His Father continues to look at him with an impetuous stare, almost seeming as if he were disgusted with his son. Snarling a bit he continues to glare at Finley until he slowly turns and walks up the steps, delivering a nonverbal message that sends chills down Finley’s spine.
Finley places both feet firmly on the floor of the basement and stands up slowly, hobbling a bit but walking as best as he could without expending too much energy. Diagnosed at an early age with primary lateral sclerosis, Finley cannot run, jump, or move like anyone else. While in school, at the young age of seven, Finley noticed that he was suddenly struggling to grip a pencil, failing tests and projects because he was unable to write his name correctly. Scared and embarrassed, he kept to himself, not wanting to draw attention to his condition, which he hoped was only temporary. After two weeks, Finley’s condition started to worsen. His calves were sore and his hamstrings would ache every time he stood up from his chair. His struggles inhibited his ability to thrive in school, forcing him to sit alone at lunch, recess, and in class. He was scared and embarrassed about what was happening to him. His teachers did not notice his condition at first and were confused about how his performance had drastically changed for the worse. They summoned his parents to the school to discuss their concerns. They told his parents how he had become lazy, not running and playing with the others during recess, and how he refused to speak up in class, becoming a recluse and sacrificing what few friendships he had. His parents took him home and scolded him, locking him in his room where he wept himself to sleep, still aching and scared about his future because he was struggling to control his arms and legs.
Weeks later, and without an improvement in his grades, one of the teachers noticed the difficulty Finley was having in his hands. She hovered over him class without him noticing. She watched as he attempted to grip the pencil in front of him, placing it down repeatedly and flexing his hands as if to gain the strength to hold up the writing utensil. With a deep concern, she took more of an interest in his day to day activities, hanging back and watching how he reacted with various tasks and compiling what little data she could gather into a journal. She dictated how he couldn’t run anymore and how he had developed a slight speech impediment, slurring words with similar sounding syllables. She noticed his hands struggling to grip a fork during lunch, as well as a pencil during class. Without asking the principal or the other teachers, she consulted with the school nurse and had her summon Finley to her office. During the brief conversation, Finley opened up about the struggles he was having with his arms, legs, and tongue, which prompted the nurse to call his parents and get him to the doctor that afternoon.
Incredibly upset that he didn’t tell them, Finley’s parents followed the advice of the school nurse and took their son to the doctor, having him x-rayed and tested for various conditions. Within an hour, the doctor delivered the terrible news: Finley had juvenile primary lateral sclerosis, a non-fatal muscular disease that would make his life incredibly difficult going forward. Finely was placed on medication for his muscles, specifically to treat aches and spasms, while also being sent to physical and speech therapy to assist him with treatment.
He walks toward the steps and grabs ahold of the railing, using it to stabilize his body as he pulls himself up the stairs. He places one foot in front until he makes it up the door his father left slightly open. Since his diagnosis, Finley learned to cope with his disease while figuring out what his limitations were. The first, he was practically useless in the morning after he woke up. His muscles were already stiff from not being used so it is difficult for him to get them started. The second, he has to speak slowly and not get excited. If he spoke quickly, his tongue will not cooperate and he will slur the entire sentence. Thus, by speaking slow and methodical, he will avoid awkward conversations where the recipient could not understand him.
Finley pushes the door open and enters the hallway that led to the kitchen. He uses the wall to support himself, and walks into the kitchen while bracing his body with whatever he could place his arms on to stabilize himself. His arms aren’t as weak as his legs, which works out well for him. While his hands still struggle to grip small objects, Finley’s biceps and shoulders remain stable, which helps him to brace himself when his legs aren’t operating correctly. He makes it to the kitchen table, sliding the chair back and sitting down quickly, exhaling with a sigh of relief because he successfully made it to breakfast without falling, which happens at least once a week. Sitting across from him was his father who still possessed an awkward scowl as he looks across the table at his son. His mother, a petite, thin woman with short, neatly cut black hair hanging above her shoulders and a very light complexion, walks up and kisses him on the cheek before placing her right hand on his shoulder. “Listen to your father,” she says calmly, yet with a stern look on her face.
A slight pit forms in Finley’s stomach as those words sink in. His father, a very serious, incredibly intimidating man. He is much taller than Finley, with fiery red hair and a very light complexion. His muscles are toned and somewhat chiseled from the hard work he provides the family. He wears a scowl on his face much of the time, especially when around his son. Never pleased with what he has done or what he has become, Finley’s father always carries a look of disappointment when addressing his him.
“Son,” he began, holding his head still while staring at Finley, not breaking contact as he adjusted his hips in the chair. He pauses dramatically, staring at Finley as he composes his words; though Finley is sure he rehearsed this speech for hours before talking to him. “For the past twenty years, you’re very existence has proved to be a burden to your mother and I,” he begins, the harsh words dripping from his lips as they slowly moved. “While neither of us blame you for your disability and your disease that has set you back a little bit, we are upset that you don’t have any drive or ambition to better yourself. Son, you work, at most, fifteen hours a week and come home with almost nothing in your paycheck, spending it all on that girl who will probably dump you the first chance something better comes across her path. I don’t know if you have to buy her time, but let me be honest with you, it is not going to be worth it.”
He pauses, sipping his coffee before setting the steaming mug down as Finley stares at his father in shock. Finley is used to tongue lashings and lectures, but he has never experienced more than a few callous statements from his father at one time. Finely stared in shock as his father continued with this depressing discussion, “Son, your mother and I would love for you to leave, but we both know that is not possible,” he continues, tilting his head slightly and relaxing his neck. “You’re not wanted by your own parents or in the house you grew up in. The fact that you lounge around all day, texting and talking to that girl, and not making a decent living for yourself is placing an undue burden on your mother and I. You have wasted many years of your life being an absolute failure, not living up to any potential and trying to do your best to stay within the confines of not being noticed or putting yourself out there. If it weren’t for that basement, we would kick you out this afternoon; however, since we don’t ever have to see you, we’re going to let you stay. Honestly, it is better that you just stay down there instead of coming up here.”
Finley continues to stare at his father in disbelief, completely unaware of the reasoning behind their conversation. While his father is right in many regards, Finley doesn’t feel it is fair to completely pin all of the hardships his parents suffer on him. He instead, rationalizes it in his mind and tries to make sense of the issue. He knows his father is upset, though in fairness, he is always that way. Finley replays the past years in his mind, trying to think back to a happy moment that he and his father had shared together. “Son, without your mother and I, you would not have made it through childhood as well as you did,” he continues, making Finley scoff to himself as those words bounce off of him. His parents do as little for him as they can. They are providing a roof over his head and food on the table, but nothing in terms of emotional support or assistance. “Still, you’re not a child anymore, Finley. Your mother and I think that it is finally time that you grow up and start acting like a man.”
He nods as his father reaches down in his pocket, feeling a small buzzing against his leg. He turns his head and looks down before hitting a small button and bringing it up to his face. Finley sighs in relief as his father answers his cellphone, happy that he is receiving a slight reprieve because his father is forced to talk to someone else for a few minutes. With all that is being said, Finley has not had much time to process it. He knows his father does not particularly care for him as a human being, but the overall harshness of his words are effecting his overall mental state. Several thoughts go through his mind before his father places the phone down on the table and looks across it again at his son, his face returning to the scathing expression that had welcomed Finley to breakfast. “Your mother wants you to water the plants today,” he continues, slowly kicking his feet back and pushing his chair away from under the table. “Take care of that before you head off to work. After that, I want you to really think about what we talked about what you can do to help take care of the burden you’re placing on your mother and I.”
Finley nods as his father stood up from the table, placing his chair back underneath it and walking toward the door. “Oh, and by the way,” he interjects, placing his hand on the door frame before walking out into the hallway. “I don’t want to hear about you feeding any of the stray animals in the area,” he explains, scowling in anger. “We barely have enough food to put on our table.” He turns and walks out of the room, leaving Finley to sit at the table and ponder his words.
Finley sits at the table for twenty minutes after his father walked away, slamming the front door before leaving. The words hurt him, though he understands somewhat the message his father delivered. They were harsh, yet incredibly truthful. He understands how his parents can feel that he is a burden, though still regrets that he listened as intently to his father as he did. Tears starting to form in the inside corners of his eyes as he stares off at the back of the kitchen, looking at the messy counter his mother left before having to go to work. He shakes his head, thinking back on how things were before he was diagnosed with PLS and how his mother would stay at home with every day, waiting for him to get home from school and help him with the remaining school work he needed to complete. The house had stayed clean and pristine; all of the appliances were in great shape, polished, and working well and the floors were so clean and immaculate that the sunlight shining through the windows reflected off of their polished surface. Not like the mess the house was in now.
Filled with regret, Finley pulls his glasses off of his face and wipes the tears from his eyes. He chuckles lightly, remembering the good times he had with his mother before his disease tore the family apart. Shortly after his diagnosis, Finley started the ongoing treatment for his condition. The therapies were expensive, as well as the drugs he took to control the pain and movement in his extremities. Unfortunately, the days of his mother waiting for him at home ended as she was forced to go to work to help pay for his treatment. She sacrificed the life she wanted with her son so that he could potentially have the best life possible. He knows that he is a burden, but he also knew that it is not his entire fault.