He has her letters, stored still, secrets shining in dulled ink. She has not called for nine years. He wonders if she has his, messy, hurried, honest.
In times of longing, he goes through every scrap there is of her, and puts together a shadow he can hold and love, and kiss.
"Dinner's ready, papa."
"I'll be right down, Julia."
He gathers the pieces of what was, and stows them away. He isn't even sure whether she's alive or not.
It's a sad thought, he thinks, knowing that you can put people away in a box, but you'll never be able to forget them, whether it's a stack of memories hidden in the back of the closet, or six feet under ground.