He drove his car straight into an empty slot, and out of ritual, just before turning off the engine, turned to face her and pulled her into a bear hug.

“I love you, baby,” he murmured.

She returned his embrace and nodded. There was a teeny-weeny hint of nervousness in her voice as she uttered, “Uh oh." Wanted to pull away right after, for she was feeling a little self-conscious of the cars that entered the multi-storey car park after them in search of empty lots. For all she knew, some might be transporting familiar faces – ones that might be working with him or her and knew the both of them, or even ones she might had never spoken a word to but recognized from running into every so often along the aisles. She had no problem with some extent of public display of affection, but she did not want to have to smack herself in the head out of embarrassment should someone familiar walk right in front of their car and peered inside.

He still held on tight to her even though she was starting to pull away slightly. As if reading her mind, he went on, “It’s their business – anyone who may happen to see us. Boo doesn’t care.”

Boo was one of the affectionate names among the more common darling, dear and sweetheart pet names that she had blurted out to him many months back. She had called him her boo. And that was exactly what he was. He was her man, her beau, her partner. Now, the name stuck and he had been using it to reference to himself while in her company ever since. Sometimes, it was Boo. At other times, it was Boo Boo. And she was his J.

Things had been rough on them for as long as she could remember - she likened their time together to a roller coaster ride that came with periods of elevation and the expected, but much dreaded, intervals of downward plunges. Neither knew why it was so, but somehow they were still together. Still loving one another. And that was what mattered. Being in his embrace after all their reoccurring conflicts felt reassuring - she could feel how much he still loved her by the firmness of his grip. It felt sincere. It felt real.

Ahh... she only wished they would never have to let go of each other. But for now, it was time to get back to work.

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