Who Am I?

By Mel John Bejar

Who am I? You’ve probably asked yourself that once in a while. You’ve probably looked at the people around you and asked, Who are  they? You fish out your phone from your pocket. What’s this? Probably the latest iPhone model or whatever brand it is.

Ah, whatever; it’s not important anyway. Nobody’s thinking about it.

Everyone’s busy with their lives, busy talking about the latest issues, busy doing schoolwork.
Why bother? I’m young and I’ve got a life to live. Doggone this.
At the end of the day, after everyone has left, after the last message has been sent, you find yourself staring at the wall or maybe just walking in the streets, looking at people. You’d probably see this girl you knew back then, a familiar face. But you can’t quite  remember her name, or what you guys did back in those days. You can tell a lot has happened to her—
you can discern this from the lines written on her face. You wanted to ask her if she’s okay, if everything’s fine, but you don’t do it. You just walk away.

You’re probably tired and all. She’s probably tired, too.
I have problems of my own, why should I even bother? you think. After that you go back to your room and sleep on it. You wake up the next morning, get dressed and do what you need to do; you know, to be successful someday, to be occupied, to divert yourself from the questions trapped in your head.

Some years later, after you do what you need to do, you finally get yourself a well-paying job, a house, some fancy car, the works. You’re on top of the world now; you can finally call yourself a success. A toast! You’ve just been promoted as the Executive Manager of the company you’re working for. Everyone congratulates you. They shake your hand and all, with smiles on their faces.

Who are these people? you ask. Well, you probably know their names by now. You’ve been working with them for some 10 years now, and you see them every week. “Congratulations, John!” some colleague of yours says. He puts his hand on your shoulder, his face grinning with happiness or envy; boy, you can’t tell. Who’s this guy again? you ask yourself.

Is he James or Ben? You can’t quite figure it out at all. You smile back, but you feel empty inside.
At the end of the day, after everyone has left, after the last toast, you find yourself alone in your car or something, staring out into the  windshield. You see the same girl you saw back then.

She looks happier now, but you can’t quite remember her name.

You can’t even remember your own name this time. Everything’s been a blur. You’ve been working all your life, but you still feel  empty inside. You finally look into the car mirror. You see a familiar face. He’s a lot older now, but nothing’s changed. He’s still a boy inside, with questions trapped in his head. He cries. He asks, this time more profoundly:

Who am I?

Well, you should probably ask yourself that once in a while.

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