Fiction: "Oh, No, Not Again"

© 1996 by Andersen Silva

It could've been her. It really could have. I glanced again at the line on the next register over, and risked looking at her eyes. Hmmm. Well, she could have dyed her hair black; I'd heard that her hair was dyed blond when I knew her. Of course, the weight difference was a little trickier, but not much more so. I tried imagining these cheeks being a little puffier (oh, how I missed my sweet-cheeks), the face just a little rounder... Yes, it really could have been her.

If it was her, though, then what? For this young woman had clearly seen my face as I'd seen hers, and she would have definitely recognized me. Would it be worse to never see her again, or to see her and have her ignore me? That had happened once before, I reminded myself coldly. I'd looked up from the restaurant table and seen her eyes fixed on me from twenty yards away in that split second before she turned away.

That it should still hurt, after almost four years... Yes, it really might have been her. I gave one last longing look back as I left the register, then walked out. I guess it's best that I never know for sure.