His nine-year-old loved her nursery, and she loved climbing trees, and reading her books about history, flowers, and trains. And she loved her father, and he thought of her as he buffed his black Oxford brogues from Loakes in London. And he thought of her again when he ironed his shirt, how she smiled when he sang songs and how she giggled at his jokes. And then he shed a tear, as he knotted his tie and locked the front door in preparation for the Christmas mass in her memory.

cold hands trembling,
immaculate innocence,
overwhelming pain.