He held the ID between fluttering fingers. In his wallet it had waited for this day of purpose. From the comparison with her faded photograph cascaded two decades past. The high street confectioners where they met. A bench just wide enough for two at a volcanic lake, the spot on which he proposed. Two children, both grown, who he liked to imagine were alive someplace, though he could not tell you where.
The days without food gave no hindrance to his recollection. Neither the chalk powdering her hair into a banshee white or the facepaint of woad mixed with her enemies’ blood. The joy that came from recognising her crept darkly through the floor of his stomach as she took his hand in the same way she used to after a vicious argument. His words gathered and died in his throat. They descended earthen stairs together to a pit hastily dug, while the other cultists stood vigil, breath smoking in the torchlight. Whether or not she still remembered him mattered very little at all.