Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Single Touch

“I’m sorry, young man, I don’t seem to know my own strength sometimes,” I said after yanking the door right out of the stranger’s hand. “Guess I get in too big a hurry and forget my manners. Please,” I added and gestured for him to go ahead. “Have a nice day now.”

I watched as he and the young lady who came out right behind him walked away. I couldn’t tell if they were together or not at first. They were both so stiff you’d think somebody starched their pants and they walked like they had sticks up their butts as my daddy used to say. 

I stood so long staring that my arm about gave out from holding the door open, but there was just something about the young man that struck my fancy. I can’t say what it was really. He reminded me a little of my Arthur, God rest his soul, but I don’t think that was it. I just don’t like to see anybody upset, and he was definitely that. And I do believe it had something to do with the girl following him.

I thought if he’d only turn around and take her hand, everything would be okay. Don’t know where I got that notion, because I still didn’t know if they were together, but it looked like she’d enjoy the gesture, and I didn’t think it would hurt the young man to have a comforting touch either. 

They waited at the bus stop, separated by no more than six inches, but miles apart it seemed. I saw her glance at him more than once and then quickly look away before he noticed. He seemed to inch closer to her the longer they stood until they were but a hair’s breadth apart. 

Finally, I could stand it no longer and I went over. After all, my appointment with the oncologist could wait. And if it didn’t, well, that wouldn’t matter either. I only had weeks to live anyway and was about tired of spending half my time at the doctor’s office.

The young man liked to have jumped out of his skin when I tapped him on the shoulder, which made the lady giggle. I was about to say something when the young man blushed and started to laugh as well. The girl then playfully hit his arm and said, “You’re as jumpy as a rabbit.” 

After that, I knew my help was unneeded. The young man grabbed the lady in his arms and whispered that he was sorry, and that everything would be okay. 

I left when they started kissing.

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