They had all come in a particular want of embraces; the warmth of the words and silences of the counter. And behind the counters, they drooped; agony aunt and uncle. And they offered them tea and patted them until their aches turned smiles, their woes into past and their moods into colourful birds.
And in the midst of this happy melee, the old man mustered all the strength in his ailing nerves to scribble a chit that he slid under the table to her when she wasn’t looking. And while she chuckled and lifted another spirit, it slipped his buttery fingers and flew into the midst of the lovely queue and gathering. Someone picked it up and read out aloud; “You” And someone else turned back and echoed “you!” The other looked and cried “You?!” while another simmered and blushed a “you…” In an apish swivel, it churned the crowd into a world, blooming of a word in thunders of emotions.
The old man slapped his furrowed forehead and turned to her. She raised her brows and touched the crow-feet at the corner of her eyes. And as they looked at each other, like whimpering spoilsports of a game of dominos, from the sea of countless emotions, they chose to mirror smiles.
The question lay in a treasured scrap in his pocket.
“What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?”