A Familiar Face

You ever see someone who looks a lot like someone else you know? How about them looking like someone you know who’s no longer in this plane of existence?

One vivid moment I remember is when I sat down for breakfast at a diner in Vancouver. By no means did this diner stand out in its decor, atmosphere, or even location. They just happened to offer breakfast for cheap near where I lived. I ordered two breakfasts— I don’t even remember who I was with—that’s how forgettable everything else was. It must’ve been either my friend M, or my mom. But that’s not important. The woman at the counter who took my order looked so much like my grandma.

Once I noticed the resemblance, I couldn’t help but stare at her. My real grandma from my dad’s side of the family had passed away quite a few years prior. As I watched this woman cook my breakfast, I longed to go back to a time when my grandma would prepare meals for me when I visited her. It was so bittersweet. It made my heart clench at the reminder that my grandma’s no longer here. But it was also a gift—for a moment, I could almost pretend she was still with me.

That restaurant closed down soon after. It wasn’t a huge surprise. They offered student-friendly pricing, but I still never saw any of the local high school kids visit this place. Even as no-frills as it was, I guess at one point it just wasn’t worth it anymore.

I had told my dad about this woman, but he never even had a chance to go visit this diner. I’m not sure if he would’ve wanted to anyway. I’d walk by the windows of the Indian place that opened up in its place and peer inside every time I walk by it — still.

A few days ago, I was waiting for the metro in Montreal. I like to walk to the ends of the platform since I know it’ll line up nicely with the exit I’ll need to take when I reach my stop.

As I got to the end, I saw a girl sitting down. Probably around my age. She had her head tilted downwards and was reading something. She bore a resemblance to a classmate I had back in high school who died in a car crash. I almost wanted to approach her and ask her what she was doing in Montreal before the realization hit me.

I guess these moments makes you think about how much of an impression someone actually left on you. You just need a quick spark, a small reminder, and suddenly, it’s as if they never left.

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