It is our wedding anniversary. I have not loved her since the improvised explosive device removed my legs. She has stormed out again. The government won’t give us money to keep our house. I have no illusions. The pleasures of peace are only due to the victors.
When I signed up I was hungry for approval: the passing out parade, wedding gifts and speeches, the fear in her face as we embarked.
All I have is my mouth now.
I am aroused as he undresses me. He is not my wife. It is different when she does it. He is young and funny and his contract is being renewed by the agency.
“The sun was too hot. Helmand base was so big that you could imagine you were somewhere safe.”
I hate myself for trying to impress him. The tops of his arms are beautiful; slender and smooth.
He smiles, embarrassed.
“But we weren’t somewhere safe. We aren’t somewhere safe.”
We lost. I lost.
I am not a soldier or a husband.
I didn’t know what I was then but I know now. The army taught me power comes from choosing which contracts to break.
I want to kiss him.