She came to me during the Transit of Venus.
The world was blue gray at dusk. I went to the beach to dry out, to forget, to find some peace.
I’d been a reporter when the war started. Which war? One of them; they weren’t numbered anymore. Some reaction to some act of horror and we send a thousand boys to a desert somewhere. It wasn’t important anymore.
I was working for the AP, I’d traveled to Kuwait first, then Kutar. During one of the endless rides across the barren plains the world exploded into fire. I saw three kids melt in front of me. Three others were torn apart. I only lost my arm.
A few years later my parents died and left me enough money that I didn’t have to try and act whole enough to fit in with other reporters. I didn’t have to sit on planes and watch as the people next to me tried not to stare at my hook or my plastic hand.
I sold their houses and their cars and their stocks and even my father’s damn horses. I bought a place by the beach. I found solace in the sea. I found comfort in the silence. I found peace under the stars.