She’d visited him many times, in many places, none of them where he really wanted to be, but he’d been sparing with his thanks, then, she had been grateful just to connect. Despite his intentions of travelling the world, he had remained land-locked and, as he aged, lonely. Never having the will or resources to wonder beyond his self-imposed boundaries. Yet he'd kept in touch.
He was solemn, and for the first time in a long time, tears other than those of a crocodile glistened on his now crow-footed eyes. A shadow of his former self, he looks older than his 54 years; sadder, worn out, beaten and unhappy. She would have hated to see him this way. His glossy dark hair now silver grey. Skin pale and sallow, his gait hampered by a limp once slight, now through neglect, pronounced and painful. A nagging pain he’s carried all his life. He bears the wound as his badge of courage, a reminder of the fallen and his own guilt. A badge long undeserved. A courage lost and forgotten.