I saw him as the metro rolled to a stop. He had more greys in his hair now. Made him look more mature. So different than the boyish face that came rushing through the memories. As the car I was in drew closer to where he stood, I grew fidgety. Suddenly, I did not want to come face to face with this person, who now a stranger, had once been anything but. I wouldn’t know what to say. There were no words left to bridge the distance. No reason to anymore. And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder how he was. If he was well.
I alighted as he entered and our eyes met briefly. I said what seemed to be the courteous thing to say.
He looked at me nonchalantly, nodded and replied. “Adios.”
I shouldn’t have been surprised. This was Paraguay, after all. Where ‘Adios’ was a standard response to Hellos on the street, a shutdown response from people who were too busy to care, stop and talk. I didn’t know what was worse. The fact that he didn’t recognize me, or that I couldn’t recognize my own self anymore.
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