The war had been over a year before we were allowed home. Some things hadn’t changed: the front window didn’t close and the dining room wall was stained where Giovanni “decorated” with crayons. But the house was a shell. Doris Holburn had our dresser. The Millers were using Giovanni’s bunk bed for their young twins. Mr Ainsley had Mama’s tables, although he claimed he inherited them from a rich aunt. Our dog turned up months later. I put every piece back until the house was exactly as it had been before the war. It made no difference.
Giovanni never came home.