I first saw them when I had tailed a girl whose parents thought she was a vampire to the park. After convincing them she was just sneaking out to meet a boy, I came back to watch the couple on the park bench.
They came here every Wednesday. They were both in their seventies, moving with that slow, careful grace the elderly used with every step. They sat on the park bench, fed the ducks, and strolled down the dirt path past the lilacs where they would pause each pluck one. They would each pin theirs to the other’s left breast, share a kiss, and finish their careful circuit of the park as the sun dipped into the horizon.
They held hands the entire time.
I watched them with longing. I could imagine they had been coming to this park for decades, and the family that they had gathering around them.
I resettled my hat, raked a little more than usual, and began my own walk out of the park, headed for the mean streets I knew so well.
I walked, heart heavy, knowing that life was out of my reach.