Voting Closed:

YOUNG AND UNSETTLED

When former schoolmates can hardly remember you

It may be a small world but introverts fall through the cracks

In Summary

• I'm highly likely to ignore someone I know from high school when I see them in town 

• If I see a familiar face, I wait to see if they recognise me to spare myself the blushes

Image: PIXABAY

My dad and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua went to the same secondary school.

They were two years apart from each other. I think when my dad was in Form 5, Mutua was in Form 3.

That was the first thing I remember about Alfred Mutua. Back then, he was still the government spokesman.

My dad would point out random facts about him when he’d be on television, addressing the nation.

I always wondered if my dad would go up to him if they ever met again and say, “Hey Alfred, it’s been a long time! Do you remember me?”

Knowing my dad, he probably would.

I don’t know how to react when I meet my own former classmates or schoolmates. Especially those from high school. The chances of me ignoring them when I see them in town are very high.

I just never know what to say.

I always think that maybe they wouldn’t remember me because I was a bit of a wallflower in high school, and I have changed a lot since I was a teenager.

I, on the other hand, hardly ever forget anyone. I’m very good with names and faces.

Last year, I met a former schoolmate of mine while walking around my estate. I was looking for fruits and I saw a kiosk with some nice oranges.

Turns out that Mary, the former schoolmate, owns the kiosk.

I just remember something in my brain kicking and thinking, this girl looks familiar. So I asked her, “Didn’t we go to school together?”

“No. I don’t think so,” she said.

“Mary! That’s your name, right? I swear we were in Quabbz together. I never forget a face,” I pushed.

She completely denied ever being in the same school or that her name is Mary, but I am so sure it is her.

As sure as I am that my dad will remind me that he went to school with Alfred Mutua the next time he sees him on TV.

I would be alright with her not remembering that she had gone to school with a person called Selina, but to utterly deny your own name?

Maybe I got her name wrong, you ask? Then wouldn’t she have corrected me?

Anyway, the whole thing just made me skeptical about greeting anyone else I went to school with all those many years ago.

I have decided that if I see a familiar face, I will just wait to see if they recognise me instead and save myself the embarrassment.

In fact, just last week, I ran into another high school acquaintance at an evening engagement.

She was waiting tables, I knew immediately it was her and her nametag confirmed that it was her, Bernadette. I don’t recall her second name.

She was in Drama Club, I think, and we were in different streams, so I wasn’t counting on her to remember me.

I did not go up to her to introduce myself because I didn’t want to know how she would react.

Instead, I sat in a corner, nursing the same drink all through the event’s programme, secretly hoping she would come up to me and say, “Hey, didn’t we go to school together?”

And I would say, “Oh my goodness, we did! I remember your name was Bernice, was it?”

“No, Bernadette. Isn’t it a small world?”

“It really is.”

Because secretly, I wish I stood out more in my teenage years than just being a wallflower who remembers everyone but no one remembers her.