I randomly saw one of my old counselors in a busy store several suburbs away. We were both waiting in line but once I recognised her, I stood off to the side. Years ago when she was my counselor I liked her a lot. She was very helpful and she got me through some shocking times but then she moved away and I couldn’t see her anymore.
As I stood waiting and pretending to be interested in something far away, I saw her look at me casually and then with recognition. I avoided eye-contact so she never came over to me.
What I wanted to do was to walk over to her and give her a friendly hug. I wanted to be able to say, “Hi! It’s me! I’m still here. I am still alive!” I know she would have been happy to talk to me but I was rude and awkward instead because I was scared of disappointing her. There’s always an expectation with people I haven’t seen in a while that my life will be better. I didn’t want to have to tell her that not much has changed so I avoided her and I feel terrible about that.
I hope that at the very least she was happy to see me alive and somewhat well. Maybe she can tell herself that I am doing so amazingly well that I didn’t even recognise her or some rubbish like that.