I saw your shoes the other day. It was just a glimpse of them as you went through the door, but it was enough. Funny, there must have been fifty people around. It's been years and my subconscious can still pick you out of a crowd.
I wasn't sure it was you, though. That's why I'm eating lunch on this bench. I was checking to make sure it wasn't just my mind playing tricks on me, digging up old stuff I thought I buried behind everything I tried to make new in my life. I used to follow guys in orange coats down the hallway, praying they'd turn around and be you. I always felt foolish when they weren't, but it took me months to break the habit. I wanted to make sure I wasn't suffering a relapse.
Of course, it was you. God loves to pretend he's one of those strangers who have a nasty habit of returning things you tried your hardest to lose.
You didn't see me. But then, you never really did. I was just the girl who sat a row to the left of you and two seats closer to the front of the room. You were my first crush, not my first love. Your job was to look pretty and never acknowledge my existence. We only really talked once. It was something about whether the thermometers in a lab experiment we were using were in Celsius or Fahrenheit. I remember not knowing.
Seeing you again, I was worried that you would have the same effect on me that you used to. That the blood would be cut-off from my brain and my IQ would dramatically drop by ten points just based on your proximity.
It didn't. My foot itched a little bit and my back hurt from the bench, but my blood continued to circulate my body. My IQ held steady, and I had to admit I was a little disappointed.
You were you, but you weren't. Your face was thinner, hair shorter, and back straighter. You'd grown up. I'd grown up.
I saw you, and I went back to lunch.