On most days he never showed emotion beyond fatigue, moving in a fugue state. But today was different. He was toggling between hyper aware, cold fury burning with dangerous intensity, and withdrawal, a chasm that just couldn’t be bridged.
Freya looked for her sleeping bag, this wasn’t a time to stick around. They had been through this several times, and it always ended with him breaking things and mum remaining as still as a cadaver, while she herself ended up a sobbing mess.
For years they had been following the steps provided in their reintegration training, but nothing seemed to work. When his temper exploded, it was so furious and rapid, that there was no time to duck for cover. He may have been the veteran, but they were the casualties in the closet. Neither their friends nor family wanted to be around them. The police had coded their house a risk house. At first her mother had tiptoed around him. Soon the kid gloves were off and they sparred like trained fighters. But he had thirty to her every ten pounds and eventually she just broke.
Now she just stood, unaffected, or worse still, would walk away, like his pain didn’t matter anymore. But he had been trained to never surrender.
As she walked to the train station Freya knew that today was not going to end well. Yet she continued walking. This way the pain would last longer, but at least the cut wouldn’t be so deep.