A few days in I write to dad, in a regulation anodyne way, not really saying anything. He writes back, and I read his letter as I sit in the empty laundry watching my jeans go round and round. “Thanks very much for your letter, son. You’ll never know how glad I was to receive it. It isn’t much fun sitting here on my own night after night…” I can barely take it in. What is this? The U-boat captain in my head is screaming “DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!”. I screw the hatch shut just in time, heart thumping, mouth dry.

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