Our bed is unmade. You come out of the bathroom. I get up from my chair and fall onto our bed. Come over, I say. A hug, a hug.
For a minute there I think you are going to shake your head and ignore me, me being silly as usual. Instead you come over and let your body fall over mine. Your favourite pillow is between us, cushioning our chests. Your right index finger starts caressing the corner of the pillow; you are so cute when you do that. Your other arm wraps around me. Your weight squashes me but I don’t mind.
You can give me a bed hug any time, any time at all, my dear.
We walk past an arcade, one of the few remaining these days, and your eyes light up. You tell me how you would visit these during your younger days with your friends. How you would strategise with some of them to prepare weapons for battle. How some would be better at strategy, others at spotting differences in two near-identical pictures.
So many games, so much history. I have no part of that. I still don’t play arcade games (not that many remain these days). But I am present here with you, listening to you share your past with me and feeling your excitement and your nostalgia. This is so precious. It’s a privilege to receive this gift.
We’ve been walking for hours now. From the grey quarters to the gleaming TV tower with crawling babies; from the summer market where we had exceptional coffees and bought a huge bouquet of fresh lavender to crossing the river on yet another bridge. We have walked all day.
Now your feet are bruised, skin peeling from brushing against the straps of your flip-flops. We stop to press band-aids over the wounds; they unravel; we stop to reposition them, over and over.
This feels like a form of devotion, bending down to caress and care for your feet. We walk slowly. Our pace slackens but it’s okay; we are carrying each other.