L and I used to love a shopping trip to town. We had certain routines, particular shops and certain places we went for cake. If she went with friends she would come back with tales of a new milkshake bar or with purchases from Thorntons or Hotel Chocolat. We would both try on clothes and she was always eager to show me what she was wearing. She was patient with me and my endless indecisiveness or moans about clothes not looking right.
Now she still likes to go into the city, but seems to have little interest in anything. After a difficult exchange over a snack, we went out with K. I promised L we would go shopping for Topshop jewellery as she was telling me how much she liked it. She pored over everything but seemed unable to make a decision. We went to our usual coffee shop and she had nothing. Not even water. In Marks and Spencer I asked her to choose a meal for this evening as we are having pizza and I know that would be too much for her. She fretted and worried and I offered her three choices. I could see other shoppers looking at this gaunt young woman deliberating over food.
There are so many things from our old life that I miss, but most of all, I miss L herself. I still love this quiet, fearful girl, but I long for L to return