You’ve got the huff and the puff and you keep trying to lose me but I’ve a hold of your hand and won’t let go. You tell me you’re going to leave, that you’ve had enough of me, but you’re just hungry and I know by the look in your eyes that once you’ve eaten you’ll be fine. So we head to the McDonald’s near the second-hand store where I buy my games. By the time we get there you’re dragging your feet and I pretty much have to carry you. Head lowered and hair covering your face, you think I can’t see you grinning. Think that you’ve got away with it, but I can see your games from a mile away, girl. Tickling you under the arms as we head inside, you spring back to life and hit me with your handbag. Laughing as you stamp your feet, I put my arm around your waist and push you to the counter, and just like that, your temper subsides and the sight of all the burger and fries makes you smile at me and paw my face. You tell me you love me and rest your head on my shoulder. I go to pay, but you say no. It’s my turn. So you take out your purse and slide out all of your coins. I’m smiling behind you as one by one you push them to the guy taking our order. He looks at you, then looks at me. I look at him and shrug my shoulders before squeezing my right hand around your waist again. You’re not rushing, either, and as the queue behind us grows, you just take your sweet time counting as you go. Your hair smells of fruit, and when I kiss the back of your head, I lose myself and picture you as a kid. A kid playing in your back garden with no fear or knowledge of the adult world that lies ahead. When you’re done paying, you ask me what the time is, but I don’t know. I don’t know anything other than the need within me to keep you close to my heart. With the image of your younger self dissolving, I bring myself back to the present and there you are, smiling like only you can do. Behind your eyes, I’ve glimpsed heaven and enough turmoil to bomb the world to hell and back. And this is why I hold you. It’s why for better or for worse, there will only ever be you.