You closed the door as softly as you could - held the knob to stop the click. The house was dark, and everyone was asleep, but you knew it would only take the slightest creak, a bumped vase, a sneeze - he always slept light. They said it was because of the war, but they said lots of things. Some of them true. Some baffling and false. So, you tried to be quiet.
There was something about sneaking out. It was freedom, sure. A minor brown stamp on the rosie fucking lens used to cover collective despair. It was fun, exciting. Getting caught was part of the thrill. The fear of it. You knew what would happen.
You slipped into your bedroom. Safe. Then, you saw him sitting at the window, head canted to the side. Slumped. Fuck!
"I'm home, Dad. I'm sorry I made you worry. I know you think it's dangerous, but I was just -"
He did not turn. He did not even move. You approached slowly, trying not to startle him. You waved a hand in front of his face, but his gaze did not leave the street. You jumped. Yelled. The panic began to rise in you. Then you heard your mother's voice from the doorway.
"Bill, it wasn't your fault. Why do you torture yourself."
"Because someday she'll come home. You believe the cops if you want. I'm waiting for my girl."
And then the whole room changed. It spun so fast you thought you'd pass out. There was a cold horror in the back of your mind as you tried to put your hand on his shoulder.
It passed right through.