My heart skipped, my lungs took in a sharp intake of air, and my eyes widened to take in what I just saw. It was John. Right in front of me. I live hundreds of miles from him now — what the heck is he doing here?

As my brain tried to process all of this, he spoke and his voice snapped a rod in my mind. It was John’s face but not his voice. When I finally looked at him full-on and took in who this really was in front of me, I understood.

This wasn’t John. Just some guy at church — who happened to look exactly like John.

If you’ll recall, John was my best friend (or a facsimile thereof). Things between us have been rough as of late — meaning I try to avoid talking to him, don’t follow him on any social media site available, and all around avoid him as a subject (typically).

I moved recently, ending up many states away from John. Secretly, I was thrilled. More distance might mean more peace.

Honestly, it’s worked. I’ve been handling it pretty well recently — well enough to be open about it. I’ve been happy with the progress.

And then, well, John’s separated twin decided to appear in my life. However, I didn’t notice the resemblance at first. My first meeting with John’s twin was great — he’s a great guy! I even thought how he and I could end up being good friends.

Fast forward a few weeks to yesterday and you get the scene described at the opening. My double-take nearly caused me to choke on my lunch. I would have sworn up and down that John had just walked into the coffee shop. Instead, it was just John’s twin.

Today, while walking around work, I saw him again, this time from the back. I almost fell forward due to the unreal and freakish resemblance. I immediately ran to an empty room, hit the lights, and locked the door. It was all I could do not to burst into tears.

It felt like I was being haunted by my best friend.

I have no idea why this is happening. And by this, I mean my reaction to John’s twin. I don’t care if he looks like John — big deal.

However, I do care that I apparently can’t see him anymore without losing the ability to function as a proper adult.

I’m going to need to process and ponder this one. It’s gonna take me some time. Maybe a TV show will help me.

Have you ever been “haunted” by the memory of a best friend or lost friendship? How did you handle the haunting?

* Photo courtesy Toni Blay, Creative Commons.

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