I strolled slowly through the aisles of the grocery store picking out the items that I’d written on the ragged piece of paper earlier. As much as I hated shopping in the grocery store, I was enjoying my time alone. I’d been so stressed and full of anxiety for the past few weeks so the time away from home was much needed. I hummed the tune of Heather Headley’s “Me Time” as I pulled items from their allotted spaces on the shelves. “I need some me time, not some me and him time, just some me time.” I was so deep into my shopping and my song that I was startled when I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I turned so suddenly dropping the bag of frozen veggies I was holding.
“I didn’t mean to scare you!” The lady, a familiar face, a sight for sore eyes none the less said as she extended her arms to me. I accepted her embrace and returned it by holding tight.
“How have you been? I’ve been worried about you.” Her eyes were kind and gentle, just the way they’d been the years I’d grown to know her. Her voice was soothing, every word was like a note in a song. I felt my eyes swell with tears and I began to choke on my words.
“It’s okay. How are you? I have really missed you.” She put her hand to my cheek and wiped away the tears.
“I’ve been okay. It has been hard but I’m happy.” I didn’t want her to worry, so I lied.
“Lil’ girl, who do you think you are fooling? You are the furthest thing from happy.” She was right; I was miserable.
“Well I think about you all the time and I miss you.” Her smile was still warm and welcoming as it had always been. It had been moths since I’d last seen her, but I missed her as if she was my own mother. She leaned closer to me and whispered, “He hasn’t been the same since you left. His whole world has changed, He loved you then and loves you still. He’s not happy.” I tried to control the overwhelming emotions but they broke through like a raging storm. She held tight to my hand as I composed myself.
“I love you.” I said as I stared into her eyes to prove my sincerity.
“I love you too.” She smiled and turned to walk away. I stood there motionless as the flood of emotions came raining down on me. After a few seconds I continued down the aisle of the frozen food section only now I was humming a different tune.
“Saw his mama just the other day, said he been through a spell. Had a bad break up, thinks he’s on his way up.”