As I was walking along a road full of hurrying strangers, I unexpectedly saw a familiar face – but not too familiar to recognise. She looked my way and caught me staring blankly at her. Surprisingly, she smiled and waved at my direction. She walked towards me and I braced myself for an awkward moment with someone whom I may or may not be acquainted with. I don’t know why but I was getting nervous. I shoved my hand in my jacket’s pocket and fumbled with an old folded receipt for a present I probably bought last Christmas. The girl finally made her way against the crowd, and almost jumped to hug me with all of her Christmas shopping bags hitting my back. Still gripping to my old receipt, I hugged a possible stranger. And that was when it became all too familiar – Her detergent. It’s the same as yours.
I’ve longed for that scent to be mine because it belonged to you. Memories with you came as instant as how she hugged me that night. Memories of you whispering how much you wanted me, being this close to me and not letting me breathe. Not letting me breathe because you wanted me to stay in your embrace. Not letting me breathe so your scent would cling onto me. Not letting me breathe because we didn’t want to let go – but we still did.
She’s grown so much since I last saw her. She’s gone more beautiful just like your mom. We tried to move forward at making awkward conversation. She asked me how I was like we were best friends from high school, when we actually met just one Christmas at your house. She mentioned you in passing – I’m sure she meant to. She told me how you were doing and how proud your family was. I nodded and smiled as I unknowingly unfolded the old receipt which was still in my hand. I glanced at it only to find it blank from the long time it was forgotten left inside my pocket.
As we parted ways, she gave me a soft hug and waved goodbye. I watched her walk away and drown in the busyness of everyone. I shoved my hands back in my pocket, letting the receipt fall inside. It’s not like it matters now, anyway. Just like how we did – just like this story – There’s not much to say. There’s not much to say.