I didn’t see him there.
It isn’t that I had a problem looking at him, I just couldn’t do it.
I was afraid.
I knew what I would see in those eyes, and it terrified me. That sadness, that longing. The sudden crushing sensation of regret and loss. I know these things, I thought I had felt them myself. But at that moment, it dawned on me that those weren’t quite as real as I had imagined them to be. I understood that any sense of loss or pain that I may have felt in the past was primarily due to wounded pride, and not any true feeling of heartbreak.
That changed in a heartbeat. “He’s right behind you”. I knew who ‘he’ was instantly. I froze, and for a few brief moments I was him, looking at me, with her. A chasm opened up, it was unlike any other time in my life where I may have felt or imagined the same sensation.
When the track was announced, I took her hand and all but speedwalked to the platform.
Unbidden, I thought over and over, “please don’t ever let me be you.”
I never looked back.