“Ready or not, here I come I’m so tired of this dumb game of hide and seek Olly olly oxen free Show yourself, you’re scaring me Come out, come out where ever you are You’ve taken this thing way too far” Sonya Sones
“I’ve been looking for you.”
I heard her voice before I saw her face, and when I saw her face, my mind envisioned sunglasses.
“I’ve tried to find you for so long,” she continued, walking towards me in the grocery store, “and then, I just sort of stopped looking because, well…I thought that maybe you didn’t want to be found. I thought that maybe you wanted to stay hidden, and I wanted to respect that.”
Like a shadow hovering over her small frame, her story followed her as she came closer. Her son was also dead. He had died a few years before the death of my first child, a teenager–a car accident I think?–and when she’d told me about his death, before I understood death, she’d said: “Thank God for sunglasses.”
I had paused. “I’m sorry?”
“You know, sunglasses,” she explained. “They can hide a lot.”
“I heard about your loss,” she said that day in the grocery store, embracing me in the middle of the produce section, people shopping on all sides of us. “I’m so sorry that you had to go through that.”
“That was a long time ago,” I whispered, “by now…well, by now I’ve lost three.” My body melted into hers, feeling so relieved to finally say those words out loud to someone who understood, who required no explanation.
“Oh, Amy,” she rubbed my back, “why couldn’t I have found you sooner? I could have been there to give you this hug.”
“I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to hide…to disappear. From everyone. Even from myself.”
“I know,” she squeezed me tighter. “I understand. I did the same thing. In the blink of an eye, everything changes.”
“Yes” …everything does.
It wasn’t a conscious movement. I don’t even remember putting them on. But when I left the store that day, there were sunglasses on my face.
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Photos on Visualhunt. “Black Marble” photo by nobara on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND. Leaf photo by patrickmai875 on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA. “Lost” photo by creyesk on Visual Hunt / CC BY.