I see them everywhere. Forever etched into my mind as adolescents, it is a bit of a shock when I see them in their adult form. Full-fledged grown-ups, just like me.
The woman behind me in line at the grocery store, an old friend from middle school. The friendship ended badly, over something petty that I no longer remember. We both avert our eyes, not wanting to call attention to the painful details of our shared past.
The gas station attendant who fixed my car, a boy mercilessly bullied throughout his teenage years. A speech impediment continues to plague him. I wonder if memories of being on the receiving end of countless wedgies in the boys' bathroom continue to haunt him. I thank him for his help and quickly leave.
The woman manning a craft table at our hometown fall festival, former arch rival from elementary school. I turn the other way and all but sprint in the opposite direction. A nasty child surely grown into a nasty adult, someone I do not care to associate with.
I see them everywhere. And I know they see me too. Yet, we say nothing. Maybe someday we will outgrow those old hurts and find the courage to start anew.