They held hands as they walked along the path around the lake. The multitude of ducks and geese drifted across the surface, most nestled together. A clatter of honking began: a sentry, warding off a leashed German Sheppard who had gotten too close to the water’s edge. Stopping, they looked to see what the commotion was about. She released his hand, leaning into him, and raised her arm to encircle his, giving him a squeeze.
“Look,” he said, as a smile spread across his face. Pointing, he traced the path of a line of ducklings following behind their dame. Turning her head to look at him, she enjoyed seeing the marvel in his face, his eyes, at something so simple, to her. This was a scene she had grown up with and had viewed it often. She smiled, leaned in closer, and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Turning his head, he stole a full on kiss from her.
“Stop it,” she whispered, eyes closed, her forehead touching his. “There are people around us.” She blushed, a rosy tint.
“So? Nothing they have never seen before.” Tapping the tip of her nose with his index finger, he did his best “Honk!” and kissed her nose in the same spot. Taking her hand again, they continued on in their walk about the lake.
Walking, they’d make comments on what they passed by, or continue a conversation from earlier in the day, even one from the previous week, although all this was sporadic. Much of the time was spent in silence, fingers entwined, comfortably content. The gaps in talking did not need to be filled up, and they both felt that.
As they began a second lap around, an empty park bench drew them in. Settling down, she asked him if he was all right, knowing his feet hurt sometimes. He assured her that he was fine, “…just need a quick rest,” he said. Nestling under his outstretched arm, he drew her closer, kneading her shoulder where it sometimes pained her. She let out a soft sigh, feeling the strength in his fingers, hitting the right spot. His head gently rested on top of hers.
Snuggling on the bench, the walk way behind them, others went unnoticed. They heard the noises, the clip clopping of hard shoes, the runners, the children fussing or running and laughing. They both stared out at all the wild fowl swirling just beyond them on the lake. The ducks, in pairs or small groups, paddled around, some coming ashore near them, hoping for something to eat. Others just drifted by, the lone drakes looking for mates.
Time passed, and she began to get restless. Squeezing her shoulder, he then patted her.
“Pat, pat, pat,” he said.
“Pat, pat, pat,” she answered.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Yes. Are you rested?”
He rose first, extending his hand to her, to help her up. She stood, leaned over, and gave him a kiss.
“Hey…someone could be watching!” he whispered. Her smile spread, from lips to eyes, and beaming, the smile spread to his face. She kissed him even harder.
Hand in hand, they continued on their journey, walking side by side, along the path they’ve chosen, together.