I’ve been living here longer than most of the people here. I was born here and I grew up here. For the past two and a half decades, I watched this town grow. New faces in new houses; every day is a brighter day.
Most of the locals I grew up with are perhaps too old to recognize me, but some still do. Was it because I aged or had their memory been erased by time? On my morning walks, I pass by some neighbours sweeping old leaves and food wrappers off the street. They would often notice me and call my name to say hello. Only the old folks do this. The new neighbours don’t fancy sweeping the street. Are they still asleep? Or do they not like mornings at all?
I remember back when I was still young, I would often go out and play with my friends. We would play tag, hide-and-seek, and even pretend we are playing Counter-Strike live with pretend-bombs, bomb sites, and spawn areas. All of us call each other nicknames, and we only know each other by those names. I’m not sure if they still remember mine, but I still do remember theirs. It has been years since I last played with my friends. I seldom see my old playmates; if I do, I would see them smoking sticks. Some might have already left to live somewhere else with their parents. It seems like I’m the only one left here.
I do not go out and go around town that much anymore. But if I were shown all the people living in our town, I can recognize which people are living in the vicinity, while also naming those who I know. The rest, they are our new neighbours who settled in the numerous newly built apartments probably because our town is near the workplace. I can say, our town really grew big through the years.
A few months ago, I thought I saw a familiar face. I have a feeling because I can recall playing with her many years ago when we were kids. Or maybe she was just another of those new kids who came here just a few years back. I am not sure; I might not have actually seen her before.