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He was standing at the sliding glass door, a cup of coffee in his right hand and his left in the pocket of his jogging pants when his wife found him later on. The deep blue of morning was already visible above the tree line to the west, and the glistening dew was already present on the green expanse of lawn outside. The barbecue shone with a faint sheen of moisture as well, making his gut hurt for some reason as imagined what might lie beyond the glass. His dream had stuck with him, from the smells to the sounds, to the…

“Babe? How long have you been up?” She came up from behind him, making his skin crawl as she kissed his shoulder before wrapping her arms around him. It was all he could do not to shudder as her hands brushed over his stomach, where he…he…

Where he what?

“Hey,” she said softly, prompting him to turn around, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” he lied, “I just couldn’t sleep is all.”

“Bad dreams?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, narrowing his eyes slightly.

She smiled, shaking her head as she said, “Nothing. You’ve had a couple of bad nights since getting back, that’s all. You want some breakfast?”

“What do you know about my dreams?” he pressed. If he was wrong about his sudden suspicions he could do a lot of damage, but if he was right, well, he still had no idea what being right would mean. In fact he was just as in the dark as ever. Up until now he’d thought that he had come home from the war to a loving wife and a stable home. But with the dreams that had been coming as of late he was no longer certain.

Instead of denying anything though, his wife blew out a long breath as she said, “Let me get a cup, sit down, and we’ll talk about it. Go on, sit down, your knees will weaken soon enough when you hear this.” Her voice sounded…different somehow, not at all like the playful, carefree voice of his wife. What in the hell was going on?

“It’s best if you sit down hon,” she said, “Just let me get a cup and I’ll explain.”

(to be concluded)

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