When I think about it, I would have been more happy if they didn’t see me while I was passing by. Then I could have wallowed in self pity after he had gone back to Japan that he didn’t meet me.
He had dyed his hair. I made fun of my own graying hair. ‘I have painted it white.’ Everyone laughed. It amused me that he didn’t say anything. I knew he had turned all gray. But he didn’t know I knew. Another friend in Japan had told me.
He tried to introduce his fiance. ‘Probably you two would have met each other.’ Yeah. We would have. If you didn’t fail to mention about her for 2 years while you and me were literally living in the same room.
We talked about work. I asked about his office like an interviewer asking about work experience. Staff? Problems? Work hours? Job satisfaction? Two other friends came. They wanted to buy some wine. We all got up.
There was a party at the place of a mutual friend. ‘Will you come?’ ‘Sure. Call me when you reach there.’ He wanted to say something more. May be shake my hands or something like that too. But I just nodded walking away. ‘Call me.’ I was thinking, ‘this accidental encounter ruined a chance for me to say that he didn’t even meet me.’
That call never came. I was a little happy. He forgot me. I can hate him. It was only a few days later it suddenly occurred to me the meaning of that searching look on his face when that accidental meeting ended. Probably we may never meet each other in our lives again. He was trying for a farewell.
And then there was a rush of grief. For a lost friend.
Photo by Monkey Traffic