Martha and Mildred were octogenarians and lifelong Mainers, who loved walking along the river whenever the weather allowed.
“Look, there’s that cute couple we see every Sunday,” Martha pointed out to her best friend.
“They look like they really love each other,” Mildred commented. “I bet they talk about the most amazing things.”
Martha nodded in agreement, and the friends continued down the river walk.
The cute couple in question wasn’t a true couple at all unless, of course, you conceded that a couple was two people. They were not, in fact, romantically involved as Martha and Mildred had assumed.
As for their second assumption, that they talked about amazing things, well, that was up for debate as well…
“What do you think ducks think about?” Aaron asked Holly after taking a long sip of Snapple.
It was a hot Sunday morning, and he had already downed more than half the bottle. He wasn’t one to pace himself, and because Holly knew that about her best friend, she always carried a second bottle of iced tea in her bag in case of an emergency.
“I haven’t the foggiest idea,” Holly replied from her end of the bench.
They had been watching the ducks all morning. There were about a dozen of them in the river, and they frolicked close to the water’s edge, not far from where the friends sat.
No offense to the adorable ducks, but what Holly really cared about was what Aaron was thinking. How could the guy be so clueless?
“I mean, they have to be judging us, right?” he continued with his duck obsession. “It’s so hot, and we’re walking and even running along the asphalt, when we have this beautiful river right here in which we could cool off.”
Holly took a sip of her coffee to prevent her from blurting out the first thing that came to mind, which would have hurt Aaron’s feelings.
Instead, she took that time to formulate something nice to say.
“I don’t think they’d appreciate our diving into their private pool and interrupting their peaceful morning,” she replied with a smile.
Aaron nodded and pondered that as he took another sip of Snapple.
“They look pretty friendly,” Aaron countered. “They might not welcome me into their swim club, but everyone loves you. I bet they’d make you an honorary part of their flock. That could be pretty sweet if they invite you to fly south with them for the winter…”
Holly blushed and hoped that Aaron didn’t notice. His comment about everyone loving her was totally sweet, but she was sure he didn’t even realize it.
Of course, he was wrong. Not everyone loved her. At least not the way she wanted to be loved.
“I’ll be sure to send you a postcard from wherever we end up,” she promised with a chuckle.
“You’re the best,” he told her with a wink as he finished his Snapple.
Holly pulled the emergency bottle of Snapple from her bag, and his eyes lit up.
“Look at the way his eyes light up when he looks at her,” Martha pointed out as they passed the bench again on their return lap.
“Like I said, they must really love each other,” Mildred replied.
The ladies kept walking, never once giving a passing glance at the ducks.