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SOL – March 10th “A Familiar Face”

A Familiar Face

One of the things about studying at a language department is that you often run into people you haven’t seen in a while: as it turns out it’s not always a pleasant surprise. This was one of those days.

As I turned to the right after going up the stairs, I intended to take a casual look around, but I was cut off halfway, I caught a glimpse of the strangely familiar face, and before I could recognize the long memorized features, my body betrayed my mind. I stiffened, every muscle in my body tensed, and then absolutely involuntarily I took a step backwards. I looked up again warily, I saw her now, and I felt relieved when I recognized her and I understood my first reaction. Relief that lasted for about a fraction of a second because the anger, the rage, the fury that I felt for the next minute was indescribable. It all just came back to me: the blasphemy, the banter, and the ridicule, the almost daily threats of violence, the one time she got to me…

I stared at her face now, blatantly. She noticed. She looked at me curiously and smiled tentatively. Well I was certainly not expecting that! She waited expectantly now. Was she crazy? Had she honestly forgotten? “Maybe bullies only have a short term memory” I thought to myself, “or they have no conscience.” I took three steps forward, (involuntarily again), my heart was exhilarated; pumping with sanguine anticipation, in the tip of my mouth I could savor the sweet taste of vengeance. My fists clenched, but not out of fear anymore but out of power and control, they searched for retribution. And then I woke up from my daydream.

What was I going to do! I had to quarry with myself for the next few seconds. “It was a long time ago” I said to myself, ”You’ve both grown up now, it’s different” “ You cannot take revenge, What could you possibly do? … I stood there thinking… “She’s probably a nice person now” –Ppfh!- I laughed sardonically and strode away. – Not worth it. – I mumbled just like in the old times, but this time I truly meant it.

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5 responses

  1. That is a challenge, right? How to acknowledge someone whom you’d rather not see, and yet, you’d rather not offend either (for a variety of reasons). Just remember: you were the bigger person in that situation. No need to forget. But maybe no need to rehash it, either.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

  2. Wow…powerful piece…loved your description. Thanks for sharing.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:43 am

  3. Wow – so much emotion in this piece. I kept wondering what would happen and what this person had done to summon such feelings. You left me wondering and wanting to know more about these characters.

    March 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm

  4. Your story brought me to a connection from my childhood. I hope I could laugh and walk away under the same circumstances. It’s a good beginning to a book about catching up on two lives running in different directions for a time and coming back into the same worlds again, be it true or fiction.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

  5. Jama

    That is powerful! I want to know more. So emotional!

    March 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm

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