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I was wandering around the aisles of the ladies’ fashion department aimlessly, giving the myriad clothes in front of me a lazy, sweeping look – when a familiar face upfront stopped me in my tracks. She looked just like her old self a good year ago when I last saw her. I was too close to steal away, not far away enough to feign ignorance – and so, I did what I usually would not have done: I decided to acknowledge her presence.

“Psst, psst,” I hissed softly.

She turned towards me, her face a brief look of momentary confusion, then gradually giving way to welcome recognition.

“Oh. My. God.”

I could almost see the periods within the three words she uttered, and much to my amusement I whispered to myself, “Smith will suffice”. We spent the next few minutes doing some quick catching up.

I marvelled at my decision to make the first move this time around; my usual modus operandi – upon seeing an old friend, a former classmate, a (somewhat) familiar face – would be to make a 180-degree turn and quickly walk away while pretending to diligently study the miniscule text on a colourful packet of instant noodles, or to pounce on a book from the nearest rack and bury my face in it in an attempt to be enamoured by the story for the next fifteen minutes or so… until I am satisfied the coast is clear.

Others would have easily exchanged hugs and business cards, and probably already adjourned to a nearby cafe for more chat and gossip, but strange questions about the day’s incident lurked at the back of my mind still, chief among them, this:

Would Agent Smith have approved?

Details of this entry.Thursday, October 30, 2008, filed under Personal.
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