I was walking home from the bus stop, holding a diner cheeseburger and fries, trying not to slip on the remaining ice and slush.
Ahead of me on the sidewalk, an older woman (or maybe I should say a woman of around my own age) and a young man, maybe a teen or early 20s, were hugging each other fiercely. Their arms were wrapped tightly and I could see, under his warm stocking cap, that the young man’s eyes were closed tight.
As I approached, I could hear them, over the hiss and rumble of cars driving by; both the woman and the man were crying. Sobs, gasps, that choking sound when someone is trying, unsuccessfully, to hold back the sadness.
The sidewalk held only the three of us. The office we were all in front of was unlit, empty. The cars might as well have been robots.
I think they noticed me and it broke their hug. They pulled apart and started to walk away in the opposite direction, holding mittened hands, talking softly, their eyes red, their voices trembling.
I have no idea what caused their sadness. I reflected that I was glad they at least had each other in this moment.
And that thought alone was enough to bring tears to my own eyes.