"How long have you been back?" I ask.
"A year," he says. His face holds confusion as if I know something about him that maybe I shouldn't.
"How is it?"
His pale blue eyes go wide as he attempts to control the flood of emotions. His face flushes bright red, then goes blanch white. His mouth opens and closes as his pink tongue tries to form words. Breathing hard, he comes up with the response he thinks I want to hear.
"It's great... really great!" His eyes rake my face. Did I buy the lie?
I raise an eyebrow.
"Well...." The emotion comes back full force as he whispered, "I'm working in a hotel... a hotel."
Then, as quick as the moment came, the moment passes. The emotion is gone. The honesty is gone.
And the lie lingers in the air.
"Really, it's great to be back."
On average, five soldiers per day commit suicide, often when they return from war.