It was midday and they were old. A man and a woman. A couple.
He sipped coffee and she, herbal tea. A difference they had come to appreciate. He was sturdy, full-bodied and built to last. Whilst she was delicate, like the leaves in her tea.
He wore a hat, but not indoors. A fact she adored. The passage of time had not diminished his manners; his hands resting in his lap. As she stirred, paused and stirred some more.
The silence was comfortable, punctuated by the clink of a cup and small comments too quiet for my unknown ear.
She barely touched the tea as much as she stirred. He smirked, no longer complaining of wasted pennies. Now, he paid for tea to watch her be. To sit in steamy silence, the heat evaporating like the world outside of their bubble.
Then, she spoke, audibly. In a French accent which rolled around the room. He listened intently as her English became music notes which filled his mouth and eyes.
She was reminiscing. This cafe reminded her of one in Paris – secluded and quiet with embroidered cushions. He smiled, her captive. Then, he told her a story – a habit of his, a murmur hard to hear yet she followed, the curve of his lips and every pause as she stirred.
Silence and stirring once more.
He excused himself politely and with this the couple became a two. A meeting of individuals.
She smiled as she packed away her things, shyly taking hold of the souvenir bag she had. He had talked her through the local museum – expressive and mobile, a reimagining of the man he once was.
He held the door open for her but as they walked away they maintained a column of air between them. Talking and smiling.
And silence. As I’m left here alone. A trespasser in a love unknown.
© Kristiana Reed 2018