Sunday, November 07, 2004

Is it? Not?

On a long bus ride home, she decided to take a nap. She knew she won't oversleep cos the ride was just too long. Even waking from her nap, she knew she would still be far from home. The ride was bumpy; her head became groggy. The nap wasn't that peaceful, but it was better than nothing and she had badly needed some rest.

After an hour of the bumpy bus ride, she awoke to see herself still a distance away from home. But she couldn't go back to sleep, the ride was getting bumpier than before, that stretch of road was under major construction. She knew that it was another half an hour away from home and she had a splitting headache, but she couldn't get the rest she badly needed.

She looked out of the window despotedly, watched the trees and cars going by her. Everything seemed so foreign to her after being away from home for so long.

Then her bus stopped by at a bus stop. Staring blankly out of the window, she saw a familiar figure. She seemed to have seen those eyes somewhere before, and that crop of hair, but something was different. The body was more matured than she had known. He looked a lot older. He looked 17. He was wearing an oversized black tee, seemed to have just ended a game of basketball with his friends who were around him at that bus stop.

His eyes turned towards her. He stared at her for two seconds before his gaze faltered away. It was as if he recognised her and wanted to take a second look at her, but was afraid that it seemed rather rude to stare at people, especially if he had mistaken. When he noticed from the side of his eyes that she wasn't looking in his direction, he brought his gaze back to her, holding it for another two seconds before she noticed him too, and he brought his gaze back to his friends. As the bus turned out of the bus stop and started to leave, he looked up again at her watching her bus leave but there was nothing he could do.

It wasn't until the bus pulled away from the bus stop that she noticed that she was doing exactly what he had done. Staring at him for two seconds and when he noticed her, she lowered her gaze to his feet and when his gaze faltered, she brought her eyes back to his face, searching for more familiarity.

The person she knew isn't that old, she thought. He's only like 13, isn't he, thoughts went through her mind. Wait, he was 13 four years ago. So, isn't he supposed to be 17 now? Exactly the age that she thought he was?

How he has grown. He used to be a small boy, scrawny and quiet, but now with the company of a group of friends and the nurture of sports, he has become a jock. He always had these big round eyes, rounder than herself's and a cute boyish look on his face with his floppy hair framing it. All these were still present in the image of him she saw.

How fast time flies, she thought.

It seems to most of us that certain images we have locked in our minds can never be removed. A person will always be how he was the last significant time you had seen him and it never occurs to you that over the years, you both have aged. You both may not be what you had remembered.

Of course, she may be wrong. The image of him she saw could probably be that of a person who happened to look similar. After all she knew of another person who looked like him.

But then again, she thought, if it was a case of similarities, why did he stared at her like he too knew her?

It was just a passing thought to her. Not long after, she was again groggy from the long bus ride. Her mind wasn't clear on what she was thinking. He just became one of nature's unsolved mysteries and a fleeting ripple in her monotonous life.

Was that you?

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