Filled with a happiness I haven’t experienced since chasing birds as a boy, I stand in the coffee shop queue. I can’t stop glancing her way in case she disappears again. From this distance, it seems no time has passed – she’s even wearing, as a headscarf, the turquoise shawl I bought her once. From across the table, she’s almost translucent.

’So, how’ve you been?’

‘Death comes to everything, sooner or later,’ she says. ‘To me, it’s coming sooner. I wanted to see you before I…’

They are so alike, happiness and birds – any sign of trouble and they take flight.