For the sake of propriety, although it was far too late for propriety, when I was sent away from Jaffna to Colombo, I travelled in the company of another girl. She, unlike me, had done nothing wrong, and when the train jostled us so that our sweaty wrists touched, she jerked her body away from mine, and I thought I deserved it. We had known each other since we were very young, and for many years had touched each other in the familiar way of friends and schoolmates and neighbours, but that did not matter now. When I had returned to Jaffna, no one in our village had asked me about what I had done while I was with the Tigers. They had assumed, and rightly, I thought then, that I was apart from them, and that I could not return to the life to which I had been born. No one spoke of where I had gone, or with whom I had travelled. This was not from any code of silence, but rather a sense of futility: there was no point in discussing what had already happened. We had reached a moment at which living took so much effort that no one could spare the breath to speak to me. I understood this and was not offended. Although I was not myself a Tiger, I had been with them, and I had left them. There was nothing for me in the village now, although it was still the place I knew and loved the best.

more from V. V. Ganeshananthan at Granta here.