Today, I met a friend. It may be the last time I’ll see her. I didn’t want to take any chances of future-doubted meet ups and so we went through our usual day. When we got tired, we had our usual afternoon coffee. We love those times. We get to talk and listen about a lot of things. And we can talk about almost anything and everything. The queue was quite long in the branch where we ordered our snack. Well, it was that time in the aft when one usually had a snack. So we paid, took our order, sat at the table and went through our share of stories and new things discovered.
An old man then appeared. He sat at the table next to ours. He had a bag and walked with the aid of a cane. He sat there for a long time not doing anything. He had a pack of tissue on the table, a ritual here highly respected which conveyed that the table was taken. He was staring at something or someone. I had this strong urge to ask him, if he needed help or if I can offer to buy him a cup of coffee. But I decided otherwise. He might have been waiting for someone, or he might get offended. But then, he stood up, left his bag and took his cane. My friend and I watched where he was going. It was to the drinks station where we had ordered. It dawned on me that he was watching out for the queue to clear. He had to go back to his table twice just to get his order as he had a cane on one hand and the other was in trembles.
I felt so ashamed after. I should have listened to my intuition or conscience or whatever else they call it. I waited till he comfortably sat on his chair before we left. Besides, my friend said that I was almost in tears.
I find myself feeling for retirees here. I can’t imagine a life well spent then left with no one but their own self. Then again, maybe that’s all they want after doing so much for others. I guess I can’t get over my regret of just keeping to myself. I could have at least let him in on light conversation.