My peaceful shopping reverie was broken when I heard an announcement through the loudspeakers. A child was lost in the crowd and that her mother was waiting next to the candy shop on the second floor, followed by a frantic mother’s voice calling out to her child.

With that came those old memories. Our first shopping to get Christmas gifts for our families, as a way to sneak into the family picture. At the mall, you lost me in the crowd. You rushed to the nearest security post and grabbed the microphone, screaming my name. I was looking so intently at an X’mas tree decoration that I was jolted into reality when I heard your frantic voice screaming my name.

When I rushed to your side, I saw that you were flushed, huddled on the ground and there was a throng of people around you. You were having a panic attack. I remember those jaded eyes darkened and brimming with tears when I took your face in my hands and whispered soothing words. I hugged you and we stayed huddled for the next ten minutes, rocking back and forth with me rubbing your back.

Your biggest fear was losing people. That shopping ended there, with us leaving right away and purchasing rest of the gifts online. 

Somewhere along the journey, your fears became mine. And then one day, I lost you. I didn’t realize I was crying until an old lady near me extended a handkerchief and an understanding smile. I was not embarrassed. I was mortified at the power you still had on me. 

I don’t know what to do. You are so far away. I’ll come to visit you today. With your favorite bouquet of blue roses. Marie always gives me a discount on them.

I will come and we need to talk. Though its mainly me talking, I’m sure you are listening somewhere, anywhere. I hope it will hurt less next time when I think of you. 

I hope you’re happy wherever you are. Because, I clearly am not.

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