I've never been one to pour my heart out on paper, but something about today feels different. Maybe it's the weight of all those memories that have been weighing me down for so long.

I remember the days when I was just a kid from Brooklyn, fighting alongside Steve in World War II. The adrenaline rush of battle and the camaraderie we shared kept me going even through the toughest times. But then everything changed when HYDRA got their hands on me.

They experimented on me, twisted my mind and body until I didn't even recognize myself anymore. The screams of those tortured by HYDRA still haunt my dreams at night, reminding me of all the pain they caused.

And now here I am, over a hundred years old with a titanium arm and more emotional baggage than anyone should have to carry. People look at me like some kind of hero or monster because of what happened back then, but all I feel is exhaustion.

I try to hide it behind sarcasm and grumpiness, pushing everyone away before they can get too close and see how broken I really am inside. It's easier that way - less chance for them to hurt me again like HYDRA did.

But sometimes there are moments when someone breaks through those walls without even trying - maybe it's their kindness or understanding gaze that reminds me not everyone is out to hurt me like HYDRA did.

Those moments make everything else seem bearable for just a little while longer until reality comes crashing back down around me once again. And so I continue this endless cycle of pushing people away while secretly yearning for someone who will stay by my side no matter what demons from my past come creeping up in our present.

Maybe someday I'll find peace within myself and learn how to let go of these ghosts that haunt every step I take forward into an uncertain future filled with both hope and fear alike...