From a distance, I knew it was him albeit he was surrounded by a field of people who are in a hustle. His jet black, long hair was swaying in synchronicity with the rhythm of the strong, harsh November wind. I smiled. He was still the same person I knew from the start, from the way he dresses, as if he was on his wedding day has never failed to impress me. Professionalism. That’s what he told me when I questioned him on the way he dresses. In this modern age, first impression comes first. Whenever you meet someone new, the first thing they will do is to evaluate you from top to bottom, comprising of what shirt are you wearing, what pants are you wearing, or maybe assess the way you smile and also to some extent the color of your skin. It dawned on me that whatever he said was completely true, notwithstanding I have always abide by the phrase “do not judge a book by its cover” because I do not want others to perceive me by their first impression towards me and I would not do the same.
He noticed me after a while, waving towards me enthusiastically. His wide, dimply smile really showed that he was extremely excited to see me after a year we were being separated by distance and also time. He was carrying a large, grey bulgy luggage and a small bag with him. In a split second, the next thing I knew he hurriedly jogs over to me with eager and at the same time, I walked faster towards his direction. When we were only separated by a few steps away, he almost literally jumped on me. With his belongings dropped down on the floor, he opened his arms as wide as he could and I ended up in a tight warm embrace. I asked how is he and he replied with a big smile that he was fine and happy to meet me. No matter how hard he tried to hide it, I knew he was having the same problem when I glanced through his troublous, gloomy eyes.
Then, I suggested to him that why don’t we find a place to sit to have a chat and our lunch at the same time. He nodded in agreement. I brought him to a nice café across the station where it was famous for its scrumptious local delicacies. After the waiter left upon taking our orders, we started our conversation. He told me his experience working overseas, the culture, food and also the weather. At some point, he stopped for a while before continuing his story. I realized that he was trying hard to censor his words and story so that everything that came out from his mouth was a happy story. I knew him long enough to know that he is that kind of person who bottled up everything within for he do not want others to be sad or be burdened with his sadness and problems. The waiter came back with our orders a few minutes later and stood beside our small square table with no intention to leave. I was confused at that moment, staring at the face of the waiter. From his looks, he was waiting for something. Suddenly, Bryan took out a 5 dollar note and gave to the waiter who then walked away happily.
I was baffled. The last time I came here, none of the waiter waited for a tip. Bryan told me that it was normal in overseas. Maybe the time has changed. With the bad recession, it’s probably normal for them to ask for tips to support themselves. I sighed when I came to realize how bad the recession that’s flooding the country now was. Everything seemed overly priced now. No doubt, I felt the pinch too. Realizing that I was in my own world and he was looking at me, I apologized and we continued chatting about what had happened for the past year.
As we were chatting I can’t help but noticed that many eyes were staring at our table. I started to feel uncomfortable. Bryan was happily chatting away. He hasn’t noticed. Trying to conceal my uneasiness I faked a smile, something that I wasn’t born to do and he noticed it. What’s wrong? , he asked. Nothing, I replied but he doesn’t buy it. Soon, I was pouring out my agitation towards those people who kept glancing at our table to Bryan. He seemed relax and totally cool about it. I asked why was he so relaxed about it and then I found out the inconvenient truth. The truth that did not only bothers me but also to him.
Looking at my watch it was already 1 p.m. I need to rush back to work. I told him I will meet him again later for dinner and offered to fetch him to his home but he insisted that he wanted to go back by himself. Hence, I quickly put on my coat and walked out from the café with him and we shook our hands before parting ways. We both said goodbye.
As I walked to my car, I wondered can a deaf mute like Bryan get home safely. I told myself not to worry, for he has his ways and he was able to survive till today. I then drove off to my workplace anticipating tonight’s dinner.
another story of mine. this was not like how i wanted. i didn't manage to give an impact to the reader. i just can't tell the story but that's my best.