She doesn’t know, no one does, what he has seen, experienced in the war. He has returned physically whole but a darkness, a distance has crept into him. She does her best to cope, care, live, because, she loves him.
But, will this darkness become the only thing he understands and clings to or, can she reach him?
Written by Rebecca Milton
Published by AmorBooks
Even in rooms where the sun floods, where hints of laughter from other rooms can be heard, there is a silence that runs deep, runs hard, under it all. He sits for hours, days, in semi darkness, a darkness that is as much interior as it is exterior. In his mind, some sort of cinema of what has happened, what has been done, what has been seen, plays in an endless loop and only he is watching. Only he is absorbing the images played again and again. There is no one to turn to. No one in a seat next to him that he can lean to, whisper, ask, did that shit really just happen? No one he can leave the room with, sit and drink coffee with, exchange the feelings with. He is alone in the crushing cinema of repetitive hell. Day after day.
When friends come to visit, they walk on eggs made of the thinnest glass. They laugh too hard and smile too much. They pat his back, recall old times, remember the funny thing that this one said or that one did. They work hard. When they leave, they pause at the door, look her in the eyes, lie that he seems better, that it will be better, soon, soon. They give her tentative hugs and solemn hand shakes.
She agrees with them, says she sees the difference, tells them that their coming by means the world. She drops iron shields behind her eyes because tears would confuse and make them uncomfortable. There is already too much confusion and discomfort, she doesn’t want to add to it. That’s not her place. Her place is moving forward. Her place is making the meals, going to work, coming home with smiles and filling the ever deepening void with words. Talking, talking, talking. At him, for him, around him. Sometimes, good days, perfect moments of yes, there he is, she talks with him. But only sometimes.
She had learned, hard earned this lesson, the three questions never to ask; How are you? Are you okay? Can I do anything? Those are the standards, the big ones, the…