I should’ve said hi.
I saw him many times, at the mall, and at the filling station.
He wasn’t a celebrity because I never saw him being thronged by the crowds,
Or people asking for autographs when he was out in public.
But he was well known. In a good way too.
He had that face that said look at me, and then look at me some more.
I wondered if he was married, without the ring I could not prove a thing. I saw people look at him in admiration, him in return affording a brief smile in acknowledgement.
It wasn’t one of haughtiness or pride.
But of humble recognition of the person at the other end.
I wondered what kind of man he was, His gentle exterior obscuring the masculinity that threatened to burst out of his self.
Such control could only mean one thing.
He was a man worthy of admiring.
Worthy of imitating.
Worthy of looking at, twice.
There’s that one unspoken worth that I’m keeping inside. Yes, he was a man worthy of having. For myself.
I was single.
I loved him from a distance.
Behind the queue at the till.
Being the traffic at the filling station.
Behind the line at the cinema buying popcorn.
This one day, the day I kick myself over and over for.
Our eyes met. He didn’t look away and neither did I.
You see I often avoided eye contact, and would steal a glance. Only when I thought he wasn’t looking.
I realise he always looked. My way.
But that day, I didn’t look away.
He smiled, if only for a moment. I was happy. I was floating and I had butterflies in my tummy.
That lock was broken by the many bodies that passed between us.
I promised myself I’d say hi next time.
There was going to be a next time right? Because there was more of these moments before this one.
Pardon me if I cry, if I let out a scream of pain. Of regret and of disappointment. But I read that he had died.
I know because I saw his picture.
I knew his name and he was mine in absence. Now he was definitely mine in absence. I lost what I never had and the only lesson I learnt is