It was the shoes that broke his heart.
Somehow, he’d managed to pack it all away without shedding a tear. Everything folded neatly and put into boxes; out of sight, out of mind. Then he’d found them, the ballet slippers that both fit in his open palm.
His wife had said to get rid of it all—burn it if he had to—and he would play the dutiful husband, but when he tried to add them to the pile he could not loosen his grip. He slipped them into the pocket over his heart.
Weeping, he lit the match.