In my younger years I had a love hate relationship with those white busses. On one hand I hated them because they would take what was most valuable to me. Yet; on the other hand it was those same busses that would return what I loved the most. Like I said, this was in my younger years. Back when I was still naïve. In these days homecomings were the romantic part of a Nicholas Sparks novel, the 3 doors down song playing on the radio…. “I’m here without you” …they were the news channels reporting on homecomings. Like I said, naïve. The truth is I didn’t expect the return of the buses to represent nights full of paranoia, lack of sleep, night sweats, screams for no reason, and fists through walls. No one told us about that side of the homecoming. No one told us the deployment would enter our homes. Or maybe they did, and we refused to believe it. Again, naïve. As the years passed, my relationship with these buses began to evolve from hate-love, to love-fear, to fear- fear, and now simply to hate-hate.

The fear turned into hatred when I began to realize that every time these busses would take something I cared about they would return it different, tormented, and broken. And with time, the eyes I used to love to look into became lifeless. And he was always living in that twilight area, somewhere between here with us, and there with his brothers…. The ones that weren’t so lucky, the ones he couldn’t save. Enter survivor’s guilt. Me and his children a constant reminder of how underserving he was to have lived, to have a family, to be happy. At times it felt as if we were at fault for the pain he was feeling, we were a constant reminder that he was alive, and without knowing it, we killed him more from the inside.

The fantasy of these busses was short lived. And this is why to this day the sight of them, makes me want to vomit.

Love,

Your most tortured fanatic.

-A

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