Their eyes met when they both reached out to grab the coffee that the Barista had placed on the corner of the counter, his hand briefly covering hers before either of them seemed to know what was happening. Together they looked up at the same time, a look of confusion on their faces quickly replaced with a wry smile. Their gazes locked for just a single moment, and that was all that he needed.
In that moment he imagined them exchanging phone numbers and her later agreeing to go out to dinner with him. He saw them sitting at a cloth covered table with a bottle of wine half gone between them, in a swanky new restaurant downtown, they hit it off and he ends up feeding her dessert from across the table. Six months later and he orders her flowers for Valentine’s Day and she becomes the envy of everyone in the office, it is then that she realizes that she is in love with him and he has already know it since the moment they shared their first glass of wine. Later they read poetry to each other on a blanket in a park, and share Italian meats and cheeses in the bright sunlight. Three months later and they are making love on a lazy Sunday morning when she finally says that she loves him and he says it back to her without hesitation and she begins to cry, because she never knew love could be so real and powerful.
He can see them together, three years later getting married on a boat on the lake that they both confessed was where they lost their virginity, and they thought it was fitting that they become one together at that very same lake. He sees himself shed a tear as he slides the wedding ring onto her finger, and he sees a tear fall onto her hand and knows that she is crying too. They are pronounced man and wife and they ride off into the sunset together.
They fight in the future, but it is always something that brings them closer together and helps them figure out how to communicate with each other better. They never go to bed angry, he never drinks too much, and she never ignores him for work. They buy the perfect house, find the perfect dog and raise the perfect family.
He watches their children graduate and become parents.
They retire in Europe and live out their lives in peace together, grateful for all that they have and one morning he wakes up to her body cold in bed next to him. He doesn’t cry though, he holds her tight and lets himself fall back to sleep. He knows that he never wakes up again.
He looks at the woman in the coffee shop, his hand still hovering slightly over hers and he smiles and tells her to take the coffee. She says thank you with a knowing smile on her face and turns to walk away.
He doesn’t stop her. He knows that even if what he saw was real, if that life was the one for him, that he had already lived it as best he could, and there are so many more lives left for him to live.