Doppleganger

 The man stopped in front of me with a quizzical look on his face. “You look familiar.”

I studies his face. “As do you, but I can’t place you.”

His brow furrowed. “You look like the person I see when I look at pictures of myself.”

“That’s it.” I thought of the picture my friend took of me just last week. “So, does that mean we look like each other? And if that’s the case, are you what I really look like, and not the face that I see in the mirror every morning?”

“I don’t know.” He was silent for a second and then pulled a cellphone out of his pocket. “Let’s take a picture together and find out.”

We stood next to each other as he pointed his phone and clicked a picture.

We both studied the picture, silently.

I looked at him and then at his camera. The two faces were identical.

“That’s a little creepy.” I took another look at him. “Do you look like that to yourself?”

He shook his head. “Not at all. I don’t plan to look like that for another 20 years.”

“So, it appears that we are dopplegangers. Now that we’ve met, isn’t one of us supposed to die?”

 Together we said, “And if so, which one?”

He shook his head. “I think that’s just in the movies, but I don’t want to run into you again – I like living the fantasy that I am still young and attractive.” He deleted the picture from his camera. “So, let’s part ways and vow to stay apart.”

“I agree completely.” I took one last look at his lined and weary face. “You are officially dead to me.”

“So, in a way, we both die.” He considered the thought for a second. “It would have been interesting getting to know you, but it’s better this way.”

He turned, and I watched my older self walk away.  

I called after him, “Be whomever you want to be.”

I saw him nod as he turned the corner and disappeared from my life … and I felt younger than I had in years.