A boy died yesterday.
I didn’t know him, but he and I shared the same breathing space at one point. We had the same friends, had the same classes, but not once have our paths crossed. People state their condolences on their imaginary walls, their contributions by etching on three letters following his name. And they’ll close their computers, believing they’ve done their part.
I didn’t say anything on my social feed. I truly didn’t know him. But what I did discover is that my thoughts were of a face I had never personally met. A man whom I’ve never heard or shared a passing glance. I just had an image, from a news article, staining my mind.
A man I never knew had much in common with me, but why can I not stop thinking about him? Is it the fragility of life? The simple thought of clarity that I could have been in his place?
No. I just simply thought of him because I think I wanted to know him. I wanted to respect him. I wanted to see if he was me.
A boy died yesterday,
and I’ll remember the boy I never met.