He walked up to me, wheeling two large suitcases, and asked if the seat next to me was taken. I said it was not. He was new to the city. Originally from your hometown — something I’d guessed even before he said it. His mannerisms were so much like yours. He was right out of college, optimistic and wildly enthusiastic, bubbling with newfound energy. It reminded me of us at that age, when we were still together.
I saw you a few months ago at the mall. The same day that you saw me — yes, I caught you turning away just as I looked up. There was indecision in your face; I’m sure it was mirrored in mine — do we speak? Do we smile? Or do we ignore? Do we pretend to forget?
A few aisles across, in the aisle for baby products to be exact, your wife was examining something on display. She was with a woman with a broken nose. Your mother. The frail short woman with the broken nose and kind voice. Am I still the only one who knows that story? Or did you tell your wife about it?
I noticed your hairline was receding, and there was a bit of grey. I wondered what you noticed when you saw me — the newly formed double chin or the lines that were beginning to show?
The chatty boy next to me was right out of college. And I ask myself, has it been that long? It seems like yesterday; it also seems like forever ago.
Originally published at petrichorandclouds.wordpress.com on March 27, 2017.