She had been a daily part of my life growing up until I was about nine.
Then she went on vacation to Tennessee and ended up staying.
When she died, I did not believe she was really dead.
I just thought she did not love us anymore.
She did not want to be part of our family.
I thought she was angry with me for some reason.
I would see her everywhere, alive.
I would see her in the grocery store.
I would see the back of her head at the mall.
I even saw her into my early twenties.
She was in Florida.
She was in New York.
She was everywhere.
Now, I see Roger.
And not exactly him.
I see versions of him.
Or people who remind me a lot of him.
Almost making me look a third time (because I always look twice).
There is one boy in the classroom I have been observing and teaching.
He has longish blond hair (Roger was blond as a kid).
He wears glasses.
He is skinny.
He is fair skinned with light eyes.
The first day I taught my first lesson, I was gathering my things together.
I heard someone ask "Can I help you?"
I ignored the voice thinking it was two students talking.
He asked again.
It was my Roger look-a-like.
"Of course you can."
I also see "Roger" on campus.
Yesterday in my physical science class he was sitting in front of me diagonally.
It was his nose.
I saw it from the side and new it was him.
I leaned forward just to make sure.
I see him walking.
He was in front of me a few days ago.
I recognized his strut.
I could "see" him.
I saw him again today in a classroom I was observing.
He was not interested in school.
He was sleepy.
He was still skinny and growing out his hair.
He kept pulling it down on the sides.
I wanted to say "Stop that! It looks better when you do not do that."
But I did not.
And a few nights ago when Mr. X was spending the night, Roger was laying next to me.
I said something to Mr. X and he responded quickly "Otay".
I was shocked.
I had to have misheard him.
I asked him to repeat.
He said "Okay."
"Is that what you said before?"
"I said 'Otay' before."
I freaked out a bit.
He is always there.
Around the corner.
In the eyes of a stranger.
In the walk of a student.