Poppie, in his inner sanctum, mobbed by memorabilia and the poignant recollections of his life with Widyaningrum,
imagines skin that has not kept apace with his (grown old in solitude), lips so lavishly proportioned that their kisses made him ache (a pang the like of which he has not known, nor will know, since her passing), hair the colour of a shadow cast when moonbeams search for lovers in a forest dark with secrets (as opposed to black with threats, his views on death no soporific for a man without his helpmate, who confronts a bed too wide, each sleepless night, a dawn delayed),
forced to choose, he would have saved his loving wife above their daughter. Even now... Dare he admit it? No, he could not part with either and maintain his will to live - though it is half of what it was when he, with her, walked down the aisle, exchanged their sacred vows (in Amsterdam), then kept them, come what may, put into practice what for most is merely token dedication, made fidelity their reality, kept devotion un-assailed and unassailable, irrespective the temptations of society. What temptations? There had been none. He was hers, she his that day till death might part them, as it did, alas, indifferently, prematurely... Poppie's tear ducts overflow and, drip by tender drop, collect, until the bottles underneath each gaunt cheek brim.