A Shock to the Conscience
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Steve would never have guessed that his name would come up in a conversation in the Oval Office, nor was he aware the discussions involved a brutal Cold War standoff. He was rattled to the core over images of battle he witnessed in a small Spanish town but relieved to be headed home after a tumultuous semester-abroad during his senior year of high school. He decided not to tell anyone about his mishaps but still felt bothered by lingering images of dead people with bloody holes in their bodies, trucks with lifeless legs sticking out the back. He wrote to Katarina, the Spanish girl he met and befriended, shortly after he returned to Kansas, but had a hard time finding the words through a haze of brain damage caused by Soviet poisonings. She remembered him too for his nave idealism and bravado. She couldn't stand the idea of leaving him to face a desperate fate of political retribution, wondering if she'd ever see him again.