One day, when I was wandering through the grounds, daisies pink-tipped folding against night, I was taken back to my better days. I thought I saw you slipping through the huddle of trees, sixteen years old again. Impossible maybe, but somehow I could still believe. I ran forwards into the copse, trying to catch up with the years I had left behind. The sun was visible through the branches, and you were luminous in your white dress, hair so blonde it shone exuberantly. I trampled bluebells and daffodils as I hurtled forwards, the folds of your clothes whipping just out of sight around the next tree until we were face to face, brilliant and alive. I was you and you was me, and we were young and unaffected against the wings of a decade spanning age. I put out a hand, wanting to know if you were real, still existing beyond memory. You smiled and slightly shook your head, faded away as something crashed in the undergrowth. I was back in the present, where recollection was a necessity, and I didn’t know how I’d got there. It couldn’t be that easy.
Theo came creeping towards me, no longer heavy on her feet as if not to frighten a wild animal. She took me by the hand nervously, and led me to a stump covered in moss. At first she was quiet, and I wondered if she’d seen Artemis too and couldn’t find an explanation for it herself. She certainly seemed to be struggling with something; and when she dropped to the ground by my feet, she opened her mouth, unsure of what to say.