I wanted the old David back. I needed to know that he was going to be okay when I’m gone.

The next morning I woke with a clarity that I hadn’t felt in months. It was like I had been lost in a fog that was now lifting and revealing a world that I had forgotten existed. With this clarity, came an unexpected surge of energy. David was gone by the time I stirred, and amid the stacks of dirty dishes and empty pizza boxes, he left a note explaining that he would be back around lunch time. Did we have a lunch time? I wondered. And did he leave one of these notes for me every day and this was the first time I’d been coherent enough to notice it? I turned a slow circle, taking in the disgust and filth that had piled up since we’d been back. It looked like a wrecking crew had demolished the whole house, and I decided that a clean-up was past due.

I started in the kitchen, filling garbage bags with weeks worth of trash, and then washed, dried and put the dishes in the white, painted cabinets. Over the next four hours, I dusted, swept, vacuumed and mopped floors; scrubbed the bathrooms until they sparkled; and did the laundry that spilled from the hampers, running on the treadmill between loads. When the house was restored to an acceptable state of cleanliness, I pulled open all of the drapes, letting the sunshine absorb the despair that filled this space with claustrophobic darkness. And then, I did the unthinkable–I found and poured all of David’s whiskey down the kitchen sink. This, I knew would be a fight later, but a necessary evil. My dad would have called it tough love.

I admired my handiwork before taking a shower, and then napped on the couch until David got home.

I wasn’t sure how to read his mood when he walked in the front door waving a large manila envelope.
“Got my orders,” he said flatly.
He got his hair cut too. And was in uniform for the first time since the funeral.
For his sake, I tried to sound upbeat. “Where too?” But I was nervous as ever. I didn’t expect that he would be sent back to combat right away, but still worried that he would be too far away to visit regularly.

Comments
  1. dollyperry says:

    Glad I finally caught up! What with school and the holidays, I’ve been pretty busy.
    Yay! Kat’s snapped back to normal. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

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