He sits on the flagstones at the base of the monument; his long back leans against the rough stone. The memorial was built in 1924 and, when he was just fifteen, the area around it had been landscaped into regimented flower beds flanked by wooden benches painted green. The cold breeze brushes over his face, but he doesn’t shiver and he ponders, not for the first time, if his mother is wondering where he is.
He sits motionless; the only movement is the wind playing in the grass, pushing and pulling it into patterns like waves being whipped up on a lake, and the flower heads bowing and nodding to each other in the frosty air.
This has always been his favourite spot. It’s the place where he comes to think, the place he comes to get away from it all and to try and work things out. This has always been the place he comes to when he needs some time by himself, but lately that has felt like all he’s had, time by himself.
He frowns as he realises that this, his favourite spot, has become a place of loneliness. He doesn’t want to sit here on his own anymore, thinking, wondering, trying to work out what his next step is supposed to be.