I think I'm going to do one of these from the POV of each character. This one is from the POV of Lee's mother.
The first thing I noticed about Lee was the scars. I think that's what everyone noticed at first. My baby's back home, where he never should have left, but he doesn't look like my baby anymore. His hair is supposed to look like the supple fur of an otter after a day on the river. His smile is supposed to be brighter than the sun. My baby stands like an oak tree, and his voice sounds like rough bark rubbing against emerald, spring leaves.
It's only because his voice hasn't changed that I know it's him. The scars that scratch his tanned skin aren't his, the limping gait isn't his, and he's staring. But he can't see me -- I don't know if he can hear me or not. I know he can't see me from the right, so I have to move. That's what the men in blue said. They warned me that he might be different, that he might not know how to handle himself back home after so many months abroad. They warned me that he might still think he's in a warzone and that his injuries might make his progress more difficult.
His progress to what, I wanted to ask, but there wasn't room for questions. There never is.
His voice brings a smile to my face. "Hey, Ma." Things can't be all that different, if he still knows his Ma in the dark of a storm rolling over the hill. "Hey, Dad." Dad grunts. Nods at his son, but doesn't move, and I know he'll think I'm crazy for rushing into my son's arms again and even though his face is scarred and he walks with a limp, his arms are strong. And nothing matters in that moment except that my baby's home and I know he'll never leave me again.