I pull the arms of my sweater down to my fingers as the chill from people passing through the doors creeps up on me. The lingering smell of sweet chai tickles my nose as I look down at my empty cup. In front of me, around an ornamented, brown, and vintage table sit six old ladies, the chitter chatter of their conversation and laughter peeks through my headphones. They smile towards each other, listening intently to what each has to say. I watch them for a while, smiling at their friendships so pure. On a cold day like this one, it was absolutely heartwarming. I go about my own business and do the work I’m supposed to as Hozier’s music serenades me gently through it. At one point I notice the ladies holding each other’s hands, every single one in that ring, holding each other tightly and smiling. Again, I smile at them as they get up from their chairs getting ready to leave. One of the ladies, clad in turquoise and white with the biggest smile, smiles back at me. I try to not pry into their business, so I smile back and nod at her, but notice that she makes her way over to me.
She makes her way slowly to my table, still a smile on her face, as she starts to speak when she reaches my table.
«I hope I’m not disturbing you, love?», she asks me as I shake my head at her.
«Not at all!», I smile, curious about why she made her way over.
Her other friends, I assume, are putting on their raincoats and clearing the table as they gather to say goodbye to one another.
«It’s just that… These ladies, we all have known each other for a long time.» she says. I look at her and she is practically glowing with her smile.
«We have known each other since we went to community college in 1947. Can you imagine that?» She asks me, and I nod at her in slight awe.
«We don’t see each other a lot, but when we do, it’s just the greatest. They are really the greatest ladies out there. We send pictures and stuff, in a group chat on messenger often.» She continues. I watch the ladies hugging each other, and some of them taking pictures.
«Over 40 years of friendship. I can’t ask for anything more», she stands close to my table, admiring her friends from afar.
She looks at me again, and proceeds. «I hope you keep your girls close, because when you’re eighty like me, it’ll be all you can wish for.» I nod at her, thanking her for coming by, as my heart feels lighter than ever, just after her words. «Again, I don’t mean to disturb you, I just wanted to tell you.» I can’t help but smile brightly at her.
She makes her way back to her friends, as they notice that she had been talking to me. They all smile my way as they wave goodbye, laughing and talking with each other still. I wave back, with the nicest feeling of something peaceful covering my heart like the safety of an umbrella in a bad storm. Tears almost fall from the brims of my eyes as I feel a little speechless. I let the moment sink in a bit, as I dial my best friend’s phone number.
She picks up on the first ring.
«The sweetest thing just happened at this cafe, and I need to tell someone.»