I buy the underwear and remember that there was actually a short way to get to the gym from that shopping mall. I could go out through another entrance instead of going back down and through the tunnel.
As I walk towards the door, I see a familiar face, its a lady I used to know from a meditation center. Her mother was a regular at the meditation center as well and she would often come with her to meditate. Last time I saw her she was heavily pregnant but now here she was, looking extremely exhausted but pushing a stroller with a baby in it. At first I don't recognize the woman beside her, but as I hug the lady, I see that the woman beside her is her mother, except now with very short hair and looking very different. It looked like she had aged twenty years. I hug her too and I touch her hair and say,
"Oh wow, you cut your hair" I said
"Oh...you have not seen this? I have cancer, its just growing out again" she replied
The last time I saw either of them was last winter. I had volunteered to help out with a meditation retreat because they were short of people. I was not a member and neither was I very active in the center, I was simply one of those people that appeared and disappeared at will. Depending on who you talk to at the center, some would say I have been there for years and some might have never met me. I had worked then with the lady and her mother, helping the participants, cleaning and making sure the retreat was working smoothly. I don't even remember how we said goodbye when the whole thing was over.
All these thoughts flashed through my mind as she said those words.
I must have looked totally shocked because then she said,
"You don't need to look so devastated" she said with a bit of irritation or anger in her voice, I wasn't sure which but I understood that she did not want me to offer any kind of "oh I am so sorry"
Her daughter saves the day by saying "we should have coffee sometime"
"Yes of course" I say
"Not next week because we are going to the country side but after that" the mother says, again, I sense anger or something...something that was never there before last winter.
I hugged them both and attempted to behave normally which was what she wanted, I guess. I did not say "I am so sorry" but I tried to say it with my hug and I hope she understood.
When I got to the gym, it was packed filled with people.
The music started and jumping up and down, I imagined her looking in and seeing me doing these ridiculous steps.
Yeah, I did my steps, I jumped up and down and I even sang along to "la la love"