Your name was Katherine, and I awoke late today thinking of you.
We played on the beach whilst our mothers walked and talked - we would have been about seven or eight - and at first you were shy.
It was a winter Sunday and cold, but it didn't matter - we were wrapped up warm.
We chased each other. We threw stones in the choppy sea. We jumped off low sea walls to land onto soft dry golden sand - Western Gardens, before the never completed relief road.
The disused roller-skate rink with its broken windows - we wandered around there with our mums.
I was young but I kind of grew fond of you and I think we were bought ice creams but it all goes hazy now.
Then you returned to the mainland.
Another recollection. Later. Maybe a couple of months:
I am in the kitchen at home.
Mum speaks to me - she is solemn.
"Katherine's mummy has committed suicide."
I don't think I really reacted. But, it must have gone deep. Really deep. Because now I am thinking: What terrible despair drove her to take her life and abandon her only daughter? To break her little girl's heart - who wouldn't have understood?
What happened to that little girl?
Did she overcome her tragedy and find love in a family of her own?
Did she turn to faith?
Or was her life ruined? Failure at school? A string of unhappy relationships? Drugs?
I'll never know.
And why have I dredged up this memory from so long ago, like a body retrieved years later from a melting glacier?
Poor tragic Katherine. I cannot forget.