You’re walking to class. The semester just started and you’re filled with hope for the new school year. Maybe you’ll actually stay on top of things, maybe you’ll actually like your professor, maybe you won’t dread going to class everyday — who knows, weirder things have happened. You’re about to get to your class. You turn the corner. And standing right in front of the door is that person.
You know who I’m talking about: the person you haven’t actually talked to before but for some reason see everywhere. You noticed them in your first year because they would shout way too personal stories at full volume in the dining hall, and ever since then you can’t go anywhere without them spawning next to you.
Are they following you? Are you following them? Is it all a coincidence? It’s too weird to be a coincidence, though. How are they always there even though they have no classes with you, don’t know any of your friends and you don't even know their first name?
You start to sense their presence — there's a weird feeling in your stomach, as if something’s about to happen, and when you turn around they're standing behind you talking about jazz. Do they notice you everywhere too? Are you that person for them? You try to forget seeing them, but you can’t shake that icky feeling.
Realistically, you know it’s not that deep — they probably have a class in the next room or know someone in yours — yet your mood still drops and the small sliver of hope you had for this year fades. Why does this random person affect you so much?
Maybe they remind you that this year is no different from the last, or maybe you feel uneasy with the fact they’ve probably noticed you hanging around, and this stranger perceiving you makes you uncomfortable.
Internal reflection about your anxiety won’t help. The only thing to do is plead with the universe that by next class, something will have happened that ensures they won't appear within your vicinity anymore. Maybe they’ll drop out or get abducted or win the lottery on the condition that they move to Liechtenstein. You know it’s a pipe dream, but it’s all you’ve got.
We’re all haunted by that person. And perhaps we are all that person for someone else. The most important thing to take away is the profound philosophical revelation that to be seen i—
Oh shit, fuck, they're right there. That person is RIGHT THERE.