I saw the young man standing against the wall, waiting. I don’t think I’ve ever been more stunned in my life.
He looked to be about 12 or so, and he reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t place them. It was eerie. It was someone I had known well in my lifetime, and for a few minutes, it gnawed at me.
But still, I couldn’t put a name with the face of the young man.
Then I realized, it was me.
The kid looked exactly like I did when I was a kid. He stood like me, arms akimbo, the shirt sleeves rolled UP to mid forearm as I always wore them. It was just so odd.
As fate allowed, when he, his sister and his mother came to complete their business transaction, I was free. And I helped them.
He had a pocket knife clipped to the pocket of his jeans, and I said, making conversation as I always do to make the dull spots of paperwork go faster and seem less vacant, “Can you take that pocket knife to your school?”
His mother replied, “He can at our school, he’s home schooled.”
He went on to tell me it was his dad’s knife, and that he’d lost his dad in Afghanistan. I was speechless for a second. And said, “I’m so sorry.”
He replied, “He was doing what he believed in.”
That’s when I realized we weren’t so much alike. He’s a much better person.