Not Always What They Seem

The other day an elderly couple was out in the cold, standing near the curb near the exit of a supermarket with bags in their hands. Three or four, plastic and filled to the brim. I surmised the couple was waiting for a ride home. She with milky watchful eyes, strands of gray hair that swirled around her weathered face and hands that were turning blue.  He, older and protective, hovering close. He tightened his reign on her and lightened her load, taking the handles of one of the bags. They were tangled for a few seconds between the others until finally, two of them broke free. The younger-elderly woman smiled upwards. A look of love warmed the milk in her eyes. The man began to shield her silhouette from the wind. A mere step or two to the right blocked his mate from the elements. Soon, the tips of his ears turned red as a beet.

Cars went by the aging couple who waited in the blustery gusts that whirled around them. Colors and models of old and new and even trucks too drove slowly by them. The watchful woman together with the man who held more bags than ever before looked intently toward each and every one. Finally, a vehicle pulled over to the side. The couple smiled at one another. Then a girl from inside the supermarket quickly ran out to hop in. The car drove off.  Smiles of the golden age disappeared. Cold persevered.

Suddenly a boy with an orange vest pushed by several people as he pulled a string of shopping carts behind him.  He stopped to grumble a few words at the elderly couple, convincing them to move to the side in order for him to easily pass by. They started to shuffle their feet from side to side while grimacing in pain. Their bodies of old were no match for Mother Nature.

A few minutes later, a woman from the supermarket, wearing a uniform in burgundy red joined the twosome. Gently putting her arms around them, she took their bags and encouraged the couple to wait in the lobby.  There, a warm wooden bench could be seen through the walls of clear.

Soon, a taxi drove in front of the supermarket. Two employees walked the elderly man and his bride out to the car where they opened the door to help them get inside. The bags of groceries were put on the front seat while a note together with a few bills was pushed into the palm of the driver’s hand. Slowly the taxi pulled away, turning towards a neighborhood to the left.

It is ironic that things are not always what they seem. Who would have expected the boy in the orange vest, the one pushing carts to be of help to the old couple? Yet, obviously, he alerted his supervisor who assessed the situation. She took it a step further by telling her manager.  Did they gather more information from the couple themselves or perhaps find a number to call inside one of their shabby pockets? Regardless, I expect the loving and elderly couple ended up safe and warm before cooking a delicious dinner for two!


14 thoughts on “Not Always What They Seem

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