The dawn sky glows oyster and then shatters as a golden ray of light lances across the land. I start the Harley.
“For you, Namid,” I whisper, and her voice whispers back the lines of poetry she spoke at our first meeting.
Cruising south-west, I take time to notice the lake by which we picnicked, the woods through which we roamed hand in hand. The bike throbs gently. Lakes, trees, kilometres and hours creep past inexorably, like the years of a life.
Fifteen hours after setting out I ride through Cold Lake, down to the water’s edge.
I watch the massed clouds, purple and gold in the evening light.
I remember the attacker’s snarling face. I remember savage pain in my belly, ripped as I struggled to protect Namid. I remember her eyes as the knife pierced her chest, her anguished gaze of farewell.
The sun sets.