What It's Like To Still See Your Face In Every Crowd

Photo: kaanturker / Shutterstock
woman in a crowd of people

By Allie Braun

I’m in the airport. People-watching halfway and the other half listening to Ed Sheeran's beautiful voice sing about love and alcohol. Strangers walk by with bags in hand.

There’s a pattern to it almost. Or at least there feels like one right now.

It’s like just when I’m about to be bored enough to start scrolling through my Instagram again, a new plane arrives and there are new people to watch scramble around the terminal.

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It’s funny to see how different they are all. Some are frustrated or worried, others are stressed.

The guys in suits are normally either on their phones or happy, oddly enough. The kids are always amazed if they aren’t asleep or screaming their heads off. The high school or college kids are normally pretty excited; even if they try to hide it, behind the headphones they wear there is normally some trace of it on their face.

And none of them are familiar. They are all completely different from me and completely unknown to me.

All of them strangers that I know absolutely nothing about even if I try to read their facial expressions or body language. I watch them and try to find something I can recognize. I’m looking for something familiar in a sea of strangers.

That’s when I realize I’m not just looking for something familiar, I’m looking for someone who is familiar.

I’m looking for a familiar face in the crowd and not just any familiar face. I’m looking for you.  

I’m scanning the crowd for you. With no logical reason why.

There is about a 0.0000001 chance that you would even be traveling today, much less in this particular airport in this particular terminal and walk by where I in particular happen to be sitting.

But still when I sit back and think about what I’m doing, I’m looking for you. As Ed sings about playing hide and seek I’m looking for your face in the crowd.

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I’m looking for the familiarity in the foreign. For the person whose story I know oh so well. For the person who knew the thoughts in my head almost before I even knew I was having them.

I’m looking for the person I know and the one who knows me backwards and forwards.

I’m looking for one moment where you see me or I see you and we just know. For when you come over to me, ask how I’ve been, and say something about how crazy it is that we both happen to be here.

I’m looking for that one moment of fate or destiny that says "hey remember him, you are meant to be with him. That’s why you are both extremely randomly in the same place. You were meant to find him here."

And I’m looking for you to find me, too.

Another thing I realize is that it’s not about this airport or this moment or even this crowd. No, it’s not that specific. 

I look for your face in every crowd. I look for you to walk back into my life unexpectedly at every moment possible.

And I know how that sounds. It sounds like I’m waiting for you, that I’m searching for you but I’m not.

I don’t go out of my way or change my life so that the odds of us running into each other are higher. It’s more of a subconscious thing.

It’s like in the very, very back of my mind, I know that when I scan a crowd, I’m scanning it for you. And in reality I know it’s not likely that I will ever actually find you in whatever crowd I happen to be looking at that day.

I know that you being the one I’m meant to be with is extremely unlikely, but I’m never going to stop looking either.

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Allie Braun is a writer attending Furman University pursuing a degree in Sustainability Science. Her work focuses primarily on relationships, current events, and lifestyle topics. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.