John stood outside the back door of his family farmhouse smoking a cigarette. He looked out across the maintained rows of green leaved plum and apricot trees under the midday sun. In the distance he saw a construction crew on a recently cleared lot paving new streets and laying foundations for future tract houses, and felt encroached upon. His mother came out of the house and stood next to him. They looked toward the setting sun over the western mountains.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” John said sullenly.
“We couldn’t get a hold of you,” his mother replied. “You’ve been away for close to three years now. And with all your moving around after your discharge we didn’t know where to find you.”
“I would’ve returned sooner if I knew this was going to happen.”
“I’m sorry you had to find out like this. We were…
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