I am on all fours, under the wooden table. I hate loosing things. I bend further down to check under the bench. There is no sign of it.
“Can I help you?” One of the baristas has come over to me.
I look up.
“Have you seen a pocket watch?” I ask him. “I was here about an hour ago.”
“Afraid not,” he replies. “And no one has handed one in.”
He wanders off, and I search for a few more minutes. The watch is nowhere to be found. It is the pocket watch she gave me for my birthday. If this had happened years ago, I would have already started panicking. Hot spikes of anxiety would have been pricking my hands and perspiration sliding down my brow. Instead, I hear her voice in my mind. After two years together, I know exactly what she would say.
“It’s only an object,” I hear her say. “It only ever symbolised a connection.”
“Don’t worry.” she says. “I can always get you a new one.”
“What’s the point of worrying about a timepiece, when what’s really important is the time we spend with those we love?”
I pick up my bag and leave the cafe. She is right. She is always right. She always reminds me about the important things in life. Her voice in my head keeps me from the anxiety that once plagued my thoughts. I walk up to the restaurant. I see her standing outside. She smiles when she sees me. I smile when she smiles.