I had just taken a sip of coffee, carefully slurping from the white styrofoam lid, fearful of burning lips already bruised from the chill November wind, when I happened to glance up and see the smoky glass doors across the street being thrust open. The coffee -too hot, and bitter now as well-pooled in my mouth, my throat automatically constricting at the sight of the couple who had burst through them, refusing to allow any liquid past the hot bile rising reflexively from the pit of my stomach.
The young woman, her white wool coat belted tightly around her slender waist, long auburn hair whipped back by a gust of wind, was laughing gaily, pushing the door open with one hand and gesturing broadly with the other. I could sense the sparkle in her eye, hear the musical laughter from her throat, even though I was physically too far removed to actually experience it. She pushed forward onto the sidewalk, her body radiating the excitement of someone stepping forward into a much anticipated future. Closely behind her, smiling proprieitarily down at her, his eyes fixed on the ruby colored lips of her laughing mouth, he touched the small of her back as she passed through the door, nudgine her ever so gently into the world outside the confines of this building.
Side by side, their shoulders brushing intimately against one another, they stepped purposefully onto the street, his head leaning down towards hers, so that not one golden word which escaped from her lips would be lost to him in the November wind. My eyes continued to follow them as their pace increased, so eager they were to stride into the future.
My coffee, cooled now, it's bitterness only enhanced by the lukewarm temperature, at last slid down my throat, as they disappeared from view around the corner of the building, a snatch of her white coat my last glimpse of them. I lifted the cup again to my lips, my eyes drawn back to the entryway opposite me. The heavy glass doors were silent and closed now, the golden letters announcing "County Clerk's Office" a fitting punctuation to the end of this story. Rising from the cold iron bench, wrapping my hands around the paper cup of coffee, I turned my back to the building and walked away.
An exercise from Now Write!, "Two People Come Out Of A Building...and into a story"