“I am sorry.”
I put my head down.
I only nod quietly.
“I truly do.”
“Uh … Am.”
“I truly am. You said “I truly do”, while it’s supposed to be “I truly am”, because earlier you had said “I am so…rry”, which were you exact words, so …”
A chuckle follows. “You’re still a grammar police after all these years.”
A polite small laughter ensues. “Old habit dies hard.”
“I can see that.”
“What can you see? The way I dress? Well, this is kind of emergency and may not be to your liking …”
“No, no. I don’t mean that. Please.”
“… but I am only kidding.”
“Ha! Yeah. You got me there.”
“Well. Yeah. I got you. There.”
How can a second of awkward silence feels like a century of a lifetime?
“I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“I was on my way …”
“Oh, that direction?”
“Yeah. You headed to the other side?”
“Yes. They’re waiting for me by now.”
“Oh, if you must go then, I …”
“I think I must.”
And to think how many times I play possible scenarios of how we will meet again, in a different time, in a different place, in different clothes, in different shoes, in different hair, and in different manners. Where’s the angry glance? Where’s the cynical smirk? Where are the tears waiting to fall?
“Yeap. That announcement is my cue.”
“So. Goodbye for now?”
We wave. We turn our back. We walk.
I hold my breath. I let it out. I put both hands on my jacket.
Should I turn around? Should I run again? Should I chase just to say everything I’ve wanted to say but I couldn’t?
I keep on walking. I keep on thinking. I reach my phone.
I stop walking. I look ahead.
“Thank you. For everything.”