The Unwanted Guest

I've never been to war, but War lives in my home.

I know him intimately, he is the specter that shares my bed. Some nights he chokes my husband who sobs and gasps and calls out in his dreams. Other nights they fight it out in a thrashing nocturnal battle. In the morning the ghost hides. But sweat-stained gingham sheets are his calling card. 

In a crowd, his cold boney hand will draw up my spine and remind me that I must be ever vigilant for danger. Only I can see this ghostly apparition. My husband, the one who brought him home from a distant desert, senses him from time to time but they do not speak. Isn't it odd they traveled thousands of miles together and yet I am the shadow's confidant? 

I've concluded that the phantom haunted my husband so terribly on their journey that my love had to lock the dark one away. Yet they remain bonded, infinitely in time and space. My husband isn't one to give up without a fight. The trouble was carrying that locked box became quite the burden, so I offered to hold it a while. 

At a family barbecue the phantom will whisper in my ear to remind me, "This is what human flesh smells like." He'll scream at me when that powder blue Prius swerves on the highway. He injects an extra dose of adrenaline in my veins for balloons that pop or a child's shriek. He forces me to check that the doors are locked and to check again and again. 

I have been blessed with this ESP. I gladly concede to this clairvoyant gift so long as my husband remains untouched -- but that is impossible. The demon is sewn to my husband's soul. We can lock him up, but he will never leave us.