As ever, she woke sometime before light. In the fall of the year, and with war savings-time, that meant it was just before five o'clock. The nearest timepiece in the house was his watch; and that was under his pillow still, still on his wrist. His brother would be here in half an hour; his overnight satchel was already packed -- a clean pair of drawers, his toothbrush and razor, a Hershey bar she hid in a pair of his mended socks. There was nothing for her to do here now but make the coffee and watch him walk through the door, down the slope to his brother's car and then away.
She had halfway dreaded the news all summer;...