Their relationship had settled down into a quiet monotony, and Marcus was going through the motions of being a good boyfriend – he brought Amanda to a cafe, and watched her furiously take pictures of the food (that was turning cold with every snap). He tried to love her at these moments, but he always fell short; then there are moments she smiles and the world is right again. He told himself that love was a matter of give and take (although he felt like recently for a while now that all he was doing was giving), and he reminded himself that sometimes that’s just how it is at certain periods, and that the imbalance would sort itself out soon enough. He steeled his jaw and watched as his girlfriend of two years continued snapping pictures at varying angles while his stomach rumbled quietly, unheard against the constant chatter of other patrons.
Amanda was head over heels with the freshness of the experiences that he brought to her, and thankfully she did not have to pay for them. He was a man who had a strong belief that the man ought to pay for every single date with his girl, and although she was a feminist at heart, she did not complain about this arrangement – in fact, she secretly rejoiced, much against her own convictions. As usual, she was blissfully unaware of the tightening of her boyfriend’s jaw, and did not seem to realise that he may actually be hungry, and that she had already spent 15 minutes trying to catch a good angle and lighting.
When she was done, she immediately began plowing into her food, and Marcus obligingly started eating his food as well. And as he ate, he started to feel better about everything. Maybe I was just hangry, he thought to himself, the risotto exploding into wondrous flavours in his mouth. They ate in silence for the most part, occasionally sharing some light banter. When they were done Marcus got up, and Marcus felt a teeny, nagging feeling that something was off, but he brushed it off and took Amanda’s hand, heading towards the light. There was something so strange every time we are done with this. I am not sure why, and so I will choose to ignore it, he thought to himself, and chucked the lingering thought aside.
She had frowned a little as he stood up – he had forgotten that they were going to take a photo together before leaving. He took her hand and they walked out of the cafe together. Together, but separate in their thoughts. Together, but separate in their bids and cues. Together, but separate.