After working late at the office one night, he stopped at a diner on the way home for something to eat. The place was almost empty so he noticed the other customers. In a booth directly across the room, a couple were eating hamburgers and horsing around. Probably twenty years old, they were obviously crazy for each other and their happiness was as thick as the smell of perfume. They ate and talked with the animation and intensity of children. That picture said everything. You forget what it is like to experience the alchemy of new love. You forget how you want to tell them everything and hear everything they have to say. It does not matter what it is, so long as they keep talking.
His food came and he ate while sneaking glances at them when possible. He didn’t want to be too obvious about it so as not to embarrass the couple or make them feel self-conscious. What he liked so much was that neither of them was trying to be cool or aloof. Even from this distance he saw the flurry of goofy expressions on their faces, the constant touching, the giggling and talk talk talk. They weren’t trying to impress or play superior. They were wholly comfortable showing each other their joy. It was so nice to see that after his meal, he ordered a cup of tea he didn’t want just so he could stayand watch them a while longer.
Eventually the young man stood up and walked to the toilet. The girl began to cry almost as soon as he disappeared behind the restroom door. Sitting there alone, her face tightened and then the tears came. She cried silently but made no attempt to hide it. He couldn’t believe it. Why was she crying? Moments ago she had been laughing and flirting, touching her boyfriend’s arm and clapping her hands together in glee. Now her face was red in anguish. Where did it come from? Had something been said? Or had she waited till her love was gone before letting her real feelings show?
Fascinated by this disturbing change in the distraught girl, he could not stop staring. In the end she saw him and looked over with real hatred in her eyes; as if *he* were to blame for her tears and all her sadness, whatever the cause. He was so flustered and distressed by her glare that he threw some money down on the table to cover the cost of his meal and fled
— Jonathan Carroll