Yesterday Once More

Franklin Dong

 

It is our old restaurant that you took us to.

 

I had just come back home after God knows how long, only to realize that "home" as I knew it was a memory in the back of my mind, not a tangible feeling within my reach. Not anymore. 

 

We met at a very strange time in our lives: at a crossroads of our trajectories. It all appeared to me as a seemingly coincidental and temporary encounter, but time proved me wrong, just like it always does. You became a companion on this journey, making it not only easier but more purposeful for me. That all ended when I left home for school, and we slowly drifted apart. 

 

That was three years ago. Now I sit in front of you, my heart feeling your familiar energy, my mind desperately searching for the right words to say. 

 

I like your hair. I manage. 

 

But do I really? Your dyed blonde hair cascades down your shoulders, but something isn't quite right. It seems out of place, unfamiliar, and brought me confusion rather than the nostalgia I longed for. 

 

Thank you. You smile.

What've you been up to?

Not much… Been interning for this organization.

Oh, what's the job?

Just writing articles for a non-profit. 

Wow… Look at you. I'm impressed.

Thanks… How's the college process going?

I don't know. I don't know. 

What do you mean?

Just trying my best, that's all.

It's all going to work out for you. 

I hope so.

I know it.  

 

I smile. We look at each other. There's something shining behind your eyes, something instantly recognizable. And just when I thought I held it in my gaze, it flickered and disappeared. You look away.

 

It's good to see you again. You say under your breath. 

 

It feels like something in the back of my mind was rising to the surface, rejoicing in this moment. You are my fellow traveler, but I mistook you for a passerby. 

 

The waiter rounded the corner with our food. It smells like home. 

 

It's good to see you again too.