Excerpt

“July 2008

This is my husband’s day now.

He drives down highways without bombs. He picks up his dry cleaning, a business suit, hanging from a mechanical arm, rotating towards him, coming closer. He lies next to me and he says I’m happy. He looks around our house, filled with toys and plastic and books we will never read. And he listens to me, talk, talk about dinner plans, talk about politics, talk about television, all of the things that don’t matter to him anymore, things that seem like they will never matter to him again.

And he sits, here, next to me, at a restaurant, where people say, to him, how hard it must have been, being deployed, in a war zone, being away, away from us, and how, how good it must feel, now, now that he is home.

I watch my husband.

I watch him as he smiles and agrees and touches my face with his hand, a hand that is still covered in desert lesions. And I know. I know that he is half lying when he says yes.

Because I am starting to see how war is. How the feeling of war, of being deployed, being gone, being away, being there, in Afghanistan, a dangerous country, where every day is a day where you can die, can make being here, being home, being safe, how it can make it hard.

I know now. I know war is hard.

But coming home can be harder.”

p. 205-206

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