"Ugh, Ana, i'm starving!"
She laughed. "Isn't that the point?"
I couldn't help but join her in her laughter. "Yeah, actually it is." I got out of my car and entered the mall.
Ana followed. "You're doing so well," she told me. "But don't you dare go near that food court."
"Wouldn't dream of it," i said aloud as i was walking through a department store.
The lady at the cash register looked at me strangely. I smiled at her and waved; she turned quickly away, probably thinking i was crazy. She couldn't see or hear the waif-like form that was Ana walking next to me.
Ana put her tiny arm around me, and we shared a laugh at the cashier's expense. I couldn't help but wonder what it was like for that woman. How could a person go through life without ever hearing Ana's beautiful voice, without ever having her force them to count Calories and tell them they'd eaten too many when they'd only had 100, without ever having her shove them onto the treadmill and start it up while they protested. It sounded awful to me. It didn't even sound like living. Without Ana, i would have no purpose, no goal, and nothing to live for.
"You won't ever leave me, will you?" i asked Ana.
She shook her head. "Never, sweetie. I'll always be here. Right by your side."