“You’re as much use as a waterslide in the desert!”
“Oh, don’t start.”
“Well, you make me so angry!”
“Well….” (He grins.)
“It’s not funny.” (But she smiles.)
“Well…. In the desert….” (He grins again.)
“Stop it! I’m fluming – fuming….” (She tries not to laugh.)
(They kiss. They make up.)
My wife’s fiancé was killed in the desert. He was out patrolling with his comrades when their life on this earth ended. It ended in a flash, with a silent roar, a silent scream and a cloud settling gentle as a careful shroud, settling on the body parts, breath gone, life gone and hope gone in the stains in the dust.
But hope must continue and life must begin again so, in time, we married, she and I. In the late spring our two girls were born and soon another two lives were growing inside her, our two strong boys. They are all our dearly beloved children, of course, but the older boy is named for his uncle, my brother, my wife’s fiancé, who was killed in the desert.
Now all four have grown and walk and talk and hold onto my hands and cry when I tell them they are going away with their mother. And now they have gone to live in the country with their mother, where it is safe, where their grandparents can care for them.
And now, and now, I have come here to the city, with my brother’s death in my heart, I have left my home and my family and my black-haired boys and girls, I have come here to the city, I have come here to bring death to the families of those who killed my brother, my wife’s fiancé, who was killed in the desert.