Silently, the tear squeezed from her eye down her granite cheek. Janine saw Matt, not the football. She saw his agile leap high above his opponent, taking the mark. In her mind’s eye, she saw the play-on and the run-around into the open goal.
Then, into view swam his boot backwards in the stirrup, the rider-less horse following the casket, the ranks of fellow soldiers stepping, in line, behind. Her face cracked only when her mind replayed the arrival of the sombre Fairlane, and she watched her own black-shawled head step onto the carpet.
Her stony face dissolved, her fiercely erect backbone became as jelly. She collapsed onto the lawn, berating its perfection with her clenched fists. All she had was loss. He was lost to her. The Blackhawk was downed in the dark of night, in the muffle of battle. And he was lost to her.
And for what?