As a younger wife she could never have imagined being one of “those” couples, the older ones who sat silently at cafe tables, eating with nary a word to each other. Indeed, she would have revolted at the thought. Yet here, tonight, that was all she longed for. Quiet, a little respite of silence. Too much had been said already.
“I’ll have the pasta primavera,” she said simply, with a confirmatory look at him. Then, no more.
It felt good to be in the same place with him and merely exist. No striving, no “working through,” no struggling to frame the right words around her thoughts. Just being.
He reached over and took a forkful of her pasta as the plate was set down, a familiar cadence of their life together.
“Mmm. Good choice, babe.”
Casual conversation. A term of endearment. She felt herself relax in stages, felt the knots move in her muscles as she released her shoulders from their tight place well above where they belonged.
Amd here was their salvation, this – they could weather, and the powers of time and presence propelled them forward. Even in the midst of the worst, they could do this. Together.
The young couple across from them knew none of this as they exchanged looks of pity.