I live close enough to my workplace that I can go home for lunch…and that’s exactly what I do everyday. Today, on the way back to work, I drove along our street and in the distance walking towards me…
I stopped the car in the middle of the road, right there on a corner, and stared. Heaven help me, it’s been over seventeen months and I knew it couldn’t possibly be Barry. But still…
The young man was Barry’s height, his build, his colouring, he wore the same type of clothing, and he had the same hair style. But what pained my heart the most was that he walked just like Barry.
It couldn’t be Barry. But I sat in my car, stationary, in the middle of the road, watching him come closer and closer. I watched the walk I knew so well, unable to tear my gaze away. Luckily, the street I live in is quiet and no cars came along.
He walked along the foot path; his gait easy and relaxed. Then I realised he had earphones on, and that made him more Barry than before. He concentrated on what was happening in the ear phones, he smiled and did a little jig. Barry all the more.
I continued to sit and watch.
He drew closer and became aware of the car and the strange woman staring at him. His gait didn’t change. He came closer still. Now he was staring at me.
Everything about this person was Barry. He wasn’t close enough for me to have a clear view of his face. My heart ached for it to be my son, but my brain suddenly felt self-conscious and urged me to drive on. Barry has been dead for seventeen months so how could he be walking down our street?
I pulled my gaze away and drove around the corner and away from the young man. I had to stop at the lights and I sat staring in my rear view mirror. The young man should have come around the corner by now, but he didn’t. I wanted to have one more glimpse of Barry, but it didn’t happen.
Now, I know it was a stranger just walking along the street, doing his own thing, but my heart won’t let go of the fact that everything about the person was Barry. I never got a clear view of his face. If I had, it would have settled the matter once and for all. But I didn’t and now I’m left wondering what I had really seen…