185 / 365 – Awake

He heard her rustle in the dark.

You awake? he said.

She rustled again. I can’t sleep, she said.

Me either.

He watched the fan turn on the ceiling. It seemed to chop at the street light that leaked through half-baffled window.

You’re really going? she said.

I have to, he said. I signed up. Maybe it was stupid but I signed up.

Why?

We’ve —. I told you.

You say different things.

I don’t know. Where I’m from, people are going. I don’t know.

There are so many other things —

I’ll be back.

What if you’re not? Lots of people aren’t coming back.

I’ll be back.

What if —. She said, Not everyone is coming back … whole. All the way back.

I’ll be back.

He looked at the ceiling. I’ll bet my friend John went.

John?

The Indian guy, the center on our team. The one that should have gotten the scholarship to the U instead of me. Those guys, his people, they get the shaft, and they always go, first out the gate to fight anyway.

I’ll send you what I earn. I don’t think it’s shit but I’ll send it to you. For the rent.

I don’t want the rent! she said, her voice rising into something like a wail. You always … Why do you do this? Always making this into some … trivial little issue. As if it is.

 

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