Tony wasn’t coming back. I could feel it. I’d known all along. If he’d been alive, he would have sent me a telegram or a letter. Surely he would have. Tony would have known how worried I’d be, how lost and alone without him.
Victory meant nothing to me without him. I’d given up everything for Tony almost a year ago, when my parents had forced me to choose. A dignified gentleman suitor they chose for me, or my young, wild love. I chose to leave them, to be with Tony no matter what the cost.
The cost had been his life. He’d been drafted not long after that, no doubt by my father’s machinations. And now my dear, sweet Tony was dead. The tea had been telling me and I’d been too blinded by hope to see it.
I wandered that night, walking slowly down one street after another until I became hopelessly, unbelievably lost.
Finally I sat down and cried. The tears just came and wouldn’t stop, though I did try to halt them. Someone came closer to me, her footsteps light and soft, but I just kept sobbing.
“Poor dear,” she whispered to me. “Don’t worry, I’ll make you all better.”
Sharp pain radiated through my body as something cut into my flesh. Someone screamed and the pain lessened, but still my consciousness faded, until I had only one thought: I was very, very thirsty.