Chapter Nine: Inside Out
Don’t panic, I told myself while I, well, panicked. I rummaged through my stuff. Dad’s gloves were missing. I could not have misplaced them, how could I have? He had given them to me. “Are you looking in the right place?” Ashinde repeated. Where could they have gone? I had kept them next to my jacket before I had dozed off last night, and now they weren’t there. I couldn’t think straight. Those gloves meant everything. It was almost like losing Dad again. The thought itself made my heart sink. “Calm down, little one. Where did you see them last? Think.” “I don’t know, they were here in the room...I showed them to you this morning, did I? Did I give them to you? Do you have them?” the words tumbled into each other. “You are looking for something, but you are not looking in the right place.” “Stop saying that! It’s not helping! They were my father’s. I told you how precious they were to me!” I dejectedly dropped myself on the bed and held my head in my hands, trying not to let the weight of my feelings translate into tears. In a half hearted attempt, I lifted my jacket with one hand and fidgeted inside the pockets. I found the gloves.
“See, Little one. This is what happens. You look everywhere and you have the gloves. Stop looking outside the pocket when it is inside. It is inside and you search outside. And then you cry about it like a baby. And now you found your Dad! Happy?”
Relieved, I repacked and got ready to leave with Ashinde by my side for a little while longer. He had decided to get off mid-way, giving me reasons I didn't quite understand. The ride was noisy, with Ashinde having something to say about everything, and then abruptly stopping, to give some room for introspection, I figured.
I would have to be the lone ranger from now on.
Having survived two days in a land away from home, I am failing to love this feeling of discovery. Before leaving the house, I knew this journey would have been tough, but just how tough, I am now starting to see. I am, at this very moment, sitting on an uneven milestone, my broken machine parked next to me. I have a feeling it has something to do with the carburetor, or something else. May be I will find someone to help me. Am I looking in the right place? Or maybe I will have to find a place to stay around here, since it is getting dark. I suddenly feel insecure and in need of protection. I am starting to miss Mom.