The Raft was written by Peter Orner back in 2000. It’s about a boy who gets told a story by his grandfather about something he did back in World War 2 that cost the lives of many civillians.
The story is told in the point of view of the boy, who we know has heard the story before. The grandfather obviously regrets it (“the story is the same and different — like last time except this time his tears come so fast…“), but seems to think it was inevitable (or maybe he wants to think it was inevitable, so he won’t feel so bad).
“Phyllis doesn’t know” is the line that tells you something serious is going to happen. It builds to a climax (the climax building is actually pretty short) and it reaches climax when he writes “BLEW IT UP” on the phone-message pad.
The big theme in this short shory is regret. The grandfather has told this story several times to his grandson, but his wife never knew. Maybe he didn’t want her to know something about him that he hated? Maybe he felt his grandson wouldn’t judge him and would hopefully understand? He is quite obviously remorseful, even if he tries to justify it to himself.
I guess it’s the kind of thing you can never forgive yourself for.