They were already there when we found a place to sit at the other end of the long worn down leather bench. I sat on the bench and you sat across from me just as she sat on the bench and her husband sat across from here. A simple bench length separated a lifetime. As they were eating and chatty quietly a couldn’t help but to sneak a peek. I began to see you and I at that age, I began to see our future flash through my mind like a reel of a movie. In five minutes the extension of our lives played for me like a prime time movie. I saw myself walking down the aisle in an overpriced lace gown toward you. I saw myself tucked quietly beside you in our large and cozy bed. I envisioned you and I dancing around our new home with smooth wood floors and a colorful doorway. I saw us drinking wine in Italy and taking pictures by the Eiffel tower. I saw our hair begin to grey and I felt the way your dark skin began to feel after holding mine for 50 years. I watched our lives, or rather my hopes and dreams of our lives play in rapid speed across the well traveled free way of my mind. When reality forced my derailment off the free way, I finished with a look at the people on the other side of the bench, hoping that one day, 70 years from now that would be you and I.
During her soft discussion with her husband over lunch, she couldn’t help but to take a sneak peek at the young couple at the other end of the bench. While her husbands voice began to tailor off her mind went into rewind. She saw the first day she met him on the crystal summer day on that beach in July of 1940. She saw the long days and nights she cried over her bed waiting and praying for him to return from war. She saw the way he grabbed her by the waist and gave her that kiss that would forever burn on her lips, in his sailor uniform the first day he got home. Her memories flew through the time he got down on one knee on that beach 5 years later and asked for her hand. She saw herself walk down the aisle in her mothers soft dress and the new home they saved up for. She saw their first child being born and the over worked hand that he still holds hers with. The reality of the restaurant snapped her back into the world at hand and stopped her black and white rewind reel. She stopped her husband mid speech and held his hand. She gave him the same look that she gave him that blue sky day they met so many years ago.
Each couple secretly sneaked peeks of each other from the ends of that smooth leather bench over lunch that day. One woman looked at the end of the bench and her mind flew into fast forward, one into rewind. Both not knowing that the other is wishing for their beautiful lives.