I remember being carried. I don’t remember if it was the first time I was being carried, but I remember being carried by you. It was warm and soft and safe when you carried me in your arms like a bundle of blankets containing something precious and fragile. I remember moving because I saw the lights running past us over your head. It was new and strange, but I was happy. I was warm and safe and happy in your arms. I remember falling asleep there with the smell of you lingering around me, a soft warm and happy cloud of you.
I remember waking up and was startled for a minute because I couldn’t recall where I was. But I felt that familiar scent of you brushing against my nose and I immediately calmed down. We were still moving, but now I was sitting high up on your shoulders, holding on to your head while watching the lights pass us. I remember looking around in wonder, what a sight, so many happenings, so much beauty. I remember hearing you smile as I pointed out at wondrous and strange things that I could see from the highest tower that you had placed me in. I remember getting tired and I remember struggling to keep my eyes open. I remember clutching your hair tight so I wouldn’t fall and I remember you slowing your pace so I would be safe. And there was that familiar smell of you again. It convinced me that it was safe to fall asleep and I did, with a little smile playing on my lips.
I remember opening my eyes to the sound of a soft “thud-thud… thud-thud”. I remember that this time I recognised the smell of you sooner and I snuggled in closer to you. My head rested on your chest where I was asleep listening to the lullaby of your heart beating, while you held me like the precious little bundle that I was to you. I remember that you would slower your pace and take softer steps whenever I moved or murmured in the wake of my sleep and slowly rock me in your arms, willing me to go back to sleep. I remember waking up, eyes wide and energetic and seeing your happy smile. I remember asking you so many questions that were so important to me then, and I remember you answering them patiently. I remember you getting tired, but still refused to let me walk on my own. And I remember nodding off against your chest once again, until the soft “thud-thud… thud-thud” faded away.
Waking up this time is hard to forget, because now I am walking beside you, my one little hand is softly enclosed in your hands as we walk against all the lights running against us. I remember listening to you tell me about things. About me, about you and about everything else that mattered. I remember you checking to see if I understood and I remember nodding quickly because I wanted you to know that I was smart. I remember you slowing your pace or waiting for me to catch my breath so that I don’t get too tired. I remember taking deep breaths when I got too tired, and I remember that you still smelled like you. I remember slowly zoning out as we continue walking.
Now we walk beside each other, still holding hands, but now I hold on to your index finger as we walk ahead. We have our own pace and walk comfortably while discussing about things that we like, about things that we dislike. We discover how similar we are, and how different we are. But no matter what happened and how sad or mad I got, I remember how you would help me out of them without even taking an effort. And I remember that as long as you are there to help me out, nothing can get so bad that I would need to spend hours agonising over them. I remember that sometimes, I didn’t even have to talk to you to explain myself. I remember that you didn’t say all that you wanted to say either, and that we had somehow even managed to develop our own little language. I remember taking in deep breaths, this time to ease out some stress, and I remember that I could still identify your scent, and it still made me feel safe. I remember smiling. I remember not thinking about the future. I remember being happy. I remember thinking this was it, this was what happiness felt like. I remember being satisfied with me, with you. I remember looking ahead at a large turning in front of us. I got caught up in it and for a tiny little second, I forgot about everything else.
Here I am now, at that turning which had taken my attention away from everything else. Here I am now looking back at the path we just travelled, because you are not beside me anymore. So here I am, waiting for you to join me. But I can’t find you. Not even your shadow. But I will sill wait for you, because I can’t possibly walk ahead without you. I can’t possibly walk ahead without holding on to your finger. I can’t walk ahead without knowing that you will be beside me to answer my questions, talk me out of my worries, laugh with me, and laugh at me. But you are still not here. I hear them urging me to continue walking. “You are almost there” they say. But they don’t know anything, do they. I cannot walk ahead without you. I will wait right here until you decide to come here and let me hold your finger and walk right beside me. I cross my arms across my chest, stubborn enough to block out all other voices and keep a stern watch of the path from where I know you will walk towards me. I don’t see you. I wait and wait, but I still don’t see you. I panic and immediately take in a lung full of deep breath, and I stop. You are here. You are right here. I close my eyes and take another breath and there you are. Right beside me, your scent is enveloped around me like a soft safety blanket, keeping me warm, protecting me. Here you are