Happy couples never look up. Their eyes never wander to see who is nearby, who may be watching. We are the audience, but their show of affection isn’t for us.
They’re far from the madding crowd despite being physically at its center.
She studies the side of his face, lifting her fingers to the patch of hair he missed underneath his chin during his morning shave. Her legs are crossed—her right looped casually behind the back of his. Their bodies are zipped together side-by-side, and I’m reminded of all the ways I didn’t fit with mine. Our zippers had kinks and holes and skipped teeth.
His attention doesn’t stray from the top of her head when she leans into him. A soft smile outlines his mouth, the kind that appears on its own without being purposely made. He doesn’t take his eyes off any part of her, so I will never learn their true color—if they are just brown or had a little bit of green up-close.
How do I know they are happy?
I don’t. I don’t know the first thing they said to each other when they woke up that day, whether it was a “Good Morning,” a “Get out of bed,” or nothing at all. They may have bickered over busy schedules and who was going to let the dog out after work. I could have misinterpreted jealousy and possession as affection when he draped his arm around her side and pulled her close.
They seem happy because that usually comes when you stop looking at what isn’t yours and focus on what is.
I watch them a second longer than I should, but I fight the urge to look away. I know I won’t have this chance forever—to see happy couples zipped together.
Because there will come a day when I too won’t look up.
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When most people look at objects, they see objects.medium.com