“It was horrific, Mom.”

My son sat slumped on a chair in the dining room, while I worked at getting him some tea.

“I don’t know if I can explain what I saw…or what I did.”

I stared blankly in front of me, trying to work the frog out of my throat. I had heard words like that before. Not from my son, but from my father and my husband.

“I killed people, Mom.”

There it was. A slow closing of my eyes was the final break in the dam, and the tears started rolling down my face, and into the tea kettle. I didn’t need to see his face to know the horror he was expressing. I knew it. I’d seen it when my husband woke up screaming from nightmares. I’d seen it on my father’s face when someone accidentally mentioned an old friend or colleague. It was raw pain and grief.

“What do I do now, Mommy? What am I supposed to do?”

My crying had turned to silent weeping. I had watched the last war eat my father and husband up and spit them into an early grave. What would become of my son, my only son?

Be sure to read Part Two here.

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