My bosom buddy and I grew up in the same residential complex and that way we both spent a lot of time together. When we were younger we were seen around the complex playing different kind of games. And as we grew older our mothers started sending us out together to run errands like shopping for grocery and vegetables. We combined this with our evening jaunts in the neighborhood and soon all shop keepers got used to seeing the pair of us coming in to shop. There were days when they enquired about the absence of one of us if the other went in alone.
This continued even through our universities days and almost bordered on a daily ritual. It came to a stop only when I got married and moved away. A couple of years later so did she and so came to an end a routine of almost a decade.
Recently I was in a departmental store and saw an elderly man who looked familiar. Every few minutes I glanced at him, trying to place where I had seen him. Suddenly it came to me that he was the man who had assisted in the grocery store which I used to frequent during my growing years. But as I was so used to seeing him behind a grocery store counter, it had taken me a while to recognize him without his familiar props.
When our gaze met I could see he had too was trying to place me. He came up to me and hesitantly asked if it was me. He then said that he hadn’t been sure it was me as I was alone. And then peered around me and asked, ”Where is your friend?” For a second I was taken aback but told him her whereabouts.
As I walked away I realized that I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t recognized him without his familiar prop of the store, but that even he hadn’t recognized me as I was without the prop he was used to seeing me with..my buddy.