They appeared rather different now. Cordial; friendly enough though not exactly loving. No longer holding hands, no longer smiling, they seemed to be undertaking a task that was required of them yet neither wished to do. Returning a ring? Perhaps. Selecting something more modest? Good chance of that. Or simply indulging in the nostalgia of the moment--an awkward return to a moment already lived yet kept on the periphery of consciousness. Who can say for sure?
But life is that way, sometimes: we do what we do, not knowing if it is the right thing or the best thing to do. Then, only after doing it, when we can turn and look back over our shoulder and measure the path we have strode upon as straight or ragged, curvaceous or zigzagging in such lovely, looping trajectories, or as unyielding as a ruler can we determine whether we have moved forward, forward in some moral sense. Or not.
So they stood against the counter once more, sales person smiling and bowing and waiting for his commission, while they were making up their minds. As though minds could ever be arranged or rearranged into something that made sense. People do what they do, naturally, and most acts are inexplicable, easily condemned to categories and classification or piles of judgment and social media's 'liking' quirks. Nothing real is but an illusion except to those who live it.
In the end they seemed pleased with the result. A balance had been achieved, it seemed. Each could take a fresh breath and go on without baggage or burden, stepping lively once more. Not, however, in lockstep. I could only wish them well and imagine in my ultra-romantic and idealistic way that they would remain friends. At least that. Because friendship in any hue is tough to find and even harder to make last.
|(Not the couple I observed. These two seem happy.)|
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