Once, when the leaves were a vibrant green and the grass was a lighter shade. When the sky was the blue of the sea and not a cloud could be seen for miles, they held each other under the sycamore tree, the one at the corner of the field leaning against the wooden fence, and the fence took the weight of the tree like a loyal friend.
They would lay on their backs, his against the neck of the tree, hers against his chest, their legs entwined with each other like the root of the tree entwines with the earth. She would feel the beat of his heart against her spine and match her breathing with every rise and fall of his chest.
Once, when nothing mattered but them, and no-one cared where they were, they would count the stars in the sky, point at the shapes in the clouds, and she would trace his finger with her own.
Then it ended, and he remembers the day and the hour as though it were edged in his skin with a knife. With every sharp breath that escapes him he remembers. On that road, where the mountain meets the line of the sky, in between hope and forever, he waited for the flicker of her face over the horizon. The hint of a breeze swaying her skirt from side to side and she was running. He remembers the fear edged on her face and it sticks in his throat , the sickness rising inside him. And he was running to her, but he could not get to her fast enough, because they took her. In a swirl of grey dust they took her, and with that they took everything he ever lived for. They took his soul.