One of my (irrational?) fears while studying abroad was that I would forget names and faces. So far, up until today, I can at least say that I still remember a decent amount of people, regardless of whether they were classmates or acquaintances. I actually have a pretty decent visual memory, so it’s usually easy for me to pair names with faces.
But this morning, as I left my apartment to get breakfast, someone walked past me and brightly said, “Hi, Sarena!”
For a split second, I stared at her in total confusion. Who was she? I had absolutely no idea.
Finally, politeness got the better of me, and I managed to say, “Hi! How are you?”
After the requisite “Good! How are you?” exchange, I wandered through Haley in a haze of bewilderment, racking my brain as I attempted to figure out who she was. How did she know my name? Why didn’t I remember her name? Did she go to a French event? Did she work for the HAC? Did I run into her at a club meeting? Once upon a time, did I tutor her at the Writing Center?
The question of her identity haunted me until I went to class and promptly forgot about the encounter.
It wasn’t until the evening, when I was waiting in line for dinner and saw her standing in front of me, that realization suddenly dawned upon me. I had seen her before. I did know her name. I knew exactly where and when I’d met her.
At least it only took me nine hours to realize who she was.