You always did like exploring. You know, your mother once told me you spent hours in the fields behind your old house. First as a child, pretending you were on a perilous quest for Inca treasure and then as an adult, taking the collie for long walks through the dark fields.
Do you remember that time I came with you down that old hiker’s trail? The conversation had slipped away with the last of the summer sun and we walked with only the sounds of the birds and the occasional rustle of the twilight leaves to entertain us. Four hours earlier and it would have been romantic. Even the dog, sauntering behind us, wanted to go home.
“Just a bit further,” you said, brushing the coarse hair away from your eyes.
You woke me up as you slipped into bed, bringing in the smell of the tall grass on your skin. I curled up into ball at the edge of the bed in protest, privately wincing as you brushed the raw sores on my feet with your leg. I pulled your hand away from my stomach in the night and we enjoyed, shall we say, an uncomfortable breakfast with your parents.
Admittedly, I occasionally enjoyed our trips outside of the M60 caravan, although not for the reasons I told you at the time. In truth, I liked to watch you. The sparkle returned to your blue eyes as you strode down those God-forsaken tracks.
You never looked comfortable in a Monday tie.
I wasn’t surprised when you told me about the ticket to Brazil because you were never a child of the city. I liked the clinical right-angles of the sanitised coffee shops that enclosed our home, while you pined for the uneven pavements of the forests and fields.
Sometimes, I think of you exploring the wild jungles, slashing at trailing foliage with a smile on your face. If you ever come back, maybe we can go exploring again.