Night Watch

“Don’t turn the porch light on.”

“Why not? We do it every night.”

“It’s been twenty years, honey. He’s not coming back.”

“Dad said he’d never leave us, Mum.”

“And yet he did.” She looked at her son, so like his father at twenty-seven. “You shouldn’t have happened, but you did. He shared more than he planned to.”

“Tell me.”

“I can’t. It’s so little, but it would get you killed.”

“Fine. It’s over. I’m done.”

She bowed her head, accepting, as he packed a bag, left.

In the woods, the silent man walked away for the last time.