Today, on my way to work, I came across an old friend in the street. They always feel awkward, those encounters, with people you cease to know anything about. In your head, their image is drawn the way you last saw them in but then, you discover that they’ve had their own share of noise in their life. I’d lost all contact with her after leaving the country , so it was quite a good chance for us to catch up on what we’d missed. Our short conversation would have been perfectly normal for two people seeing each other for the first time in years, if not for the remark she made before leaving.
“You look so changed,” she said.
When you wear eyeglasses that have a mud stain on one of its lenses, there is not a thing you see that is not colored brown. That was how her words seemed to add shades of feelings to my day. I wanted to ask her what she’d meant but something hindered me from it; perhaps I was afraid of what the answer might be. And perhaps, I just didn’t want to know.
My first day in this country, everything was so shiny I had to cover my eyes so they wouldn’t be blinded. But it was never that sort of light the sun emits, it was more like the luster of cold metal. And as I came to know, nothing in here had a hint of life about it. Sometimes, I felt the coldness clambering my bones deep in summer and had to clutch the quilts tightly.
It took me quite some time to learn their language. Before that, I made a hobby of guessing what people were saying. I made imaginary scenarios that made no sense giving myself a good laugh. But then, it constantly reminded me of how far away from home I was. I’d then throw my head against the wall and look at the moon. It sure was the only thing that still looked the same in my life. Now, I could talk their language but had I lost myself in the process?
I had not asked her about home. It slipped out of my mind, I kept on convincing myself. But how could such a thing be so easily forgotten? I rushed to my room rummaging the wardrobe for something, anything, from there. A small mirror fell on the ground and broke in what seemed a dozen pieces.
In all these shreds, I couldn’t see the girl I recognized as myself.