“You’re the biggest jerk in the world!”
The woman shouted at Tom as she walked toward him along the sidewalk. He stopped and stared, his mouth agape. What did he do? he searched her face for clues, but he didn’t even recognize her. How could he have forgotten someone with so much resentment toward him? She barely met his gaze, looking just over his shoulder, too angry even to make eye-contact.
Tom felt he should say something, but he had no idea what. He didn’t know whether to run and hide or yell back at her.
Just then a man brushed by him and pushed a rose toward the woman.
“Happy birthday!” the man sang out and wrapped his arms around her.
She pushed him away.
“I thought you forgot, you big jerk,” she said, but then laughter broke across her face, and she pulled him into another embrace.
As Tom passed and studied her smiling face, he realized that maybe she did look a little familiar.