The bike rattled softly as it flew over the pavement downhill. It was early Spring and the weather seemed to be about as perfect as one could imagine. Mostly clear skies with some neat clouds decorating it here and there. Monika relished every second of this and quietly hummed a tune. Her hair fluttered in the cool wind as she descended down the hill towards the town.
Anna had invited some guests over. Unfortunately, Monika had completely forgotten about this until she was already half-way into baking a cake. However, they didn't have enough ingredients at home to prepare one large enough for all of them, guests included. After some hefty internal debate, Monika decided that it would probably be in bad sport to have the delicious smell of cake throughout the house without being able to treat the guests to it. She would just have to make a bigger cake and fetch some eggs and milk from the store. No problem.
And so she raced down, taking in the sweet Spring air. In fact, she took it in so much that she completely forgot about the store again and had to come to an emergency stop after she had dashed by the store.
The store was tucked away neatly in one of the many corners between buildings in the small town they lived in. It was a very small store, but it held just about enough of your general goods that you needed to get by. For everything else, you'd have to take a train to Zürich or maybe even drive over by car. Monika quite liked this store though. It had a nice feeling of persistence to it and looked exactly like one of those old, rustic stores you see in movies or read about in stories. If buildings had memory, this one would probably be old enough to have lost it all due to dementia, Monika mused. She considered the flowers out front for a few minutes, but then decided to save the money for now. After all, she could just pick some that would look just as nice off one of the fields close by. She made a mental note to go for a ride later on to do exactly that. She brushed some imaginary dirt off her skirt and entered.
She quickly found her items, scuttled on over to the counter and paid while engaging in some minor pleasantries with the old cashier lady. Suddenly a loud crash came from outside. The two of them immediately turned their heads and saw a couple arguing loudly out on the street next to a bright red car. It was a man and a woman, both seeming young, probably in their late twenties Monika wagered. Leaning backwards a bit, Monika saw that he had screwed up parking and had crashed into the car behind. The woman kept on shouting at him while he seemed to just stammer something out. The shop lady sighed and finished packing Monika's items. A short “well, you take care of yourself, Monika” closed off the transaction.
As Monika stepped out the door the two were still arguing. Well, it was more like the woman was spewing a stream of curses at the man, who was just standing there trying to give his best impression of a marble statue. Monika made an effort to stay incognito and slowly slid along the side of the building towards her bike. She tried her best to make a face that she pictured would look like a wall if one squinted enough. Just as she reached her bike, the woman behind her shouted “What do you think that lady over there thinks of us now?! This has been nothing but one big disaster after another with you…” Monika winced at her being mentioned. She blushed and threw a hasty gaze back at the couple, but they seemed to be completely oblivious of her again.
Monika took her chance, boarded her bike and flew off– as fast as one can ride a bike uphill. It was only after she had left the town border that her mind clicked in again and the thoughts started to flow. The first thing that came to mind was just how absolutely awful of a couple that had been. She could not explain how people like that existed. Don't they have any shame? Any consideration for others? Well, it was evident that the lady certainly didn't, what with how she kept on beating down on the guy. Monika almost took pity on him, but his presence was so faint it seemed as if he could phase out of existence entirely at any moment. Monika shuddered all over and shook her head. She didn't really know much of romance, but she definitely couldn't see herself together with a pushover like that! Someone quiet and reserved would be nice, sure, but he'd have to have a presence too. Her mind drifted. She imagined a young farmer girl in a nice rustic dress sitting next to a sturdy young man on a bench overlooking the plains below. The two of them sat quietly, simply letting the moment sink in, no words needed. Nothing to be said.
Monika had taken the wrong turn again but fortunately snapped out of her daydream just after she had passed the fork in the road. She sighed in relief as she considered how much more lucky she was together with Anna right now. Sure, they had their disagreements and problems sometimes, and Anna was a bit too preachy, and she was also fussy, and… but never– never! Never anything like this. No, they had it just fine around here. They had a nice place, finances were a bit tight sometimes, but they were able to make due somehow in the end.
And so, Monika was filled with an inner peace as she parked her bike in front of their house and hurried into the kitchen to finish the cake. By the time the guests arrived she had already forgotten about the arguing couple again. She didn't really know why, but for the rest of the day she felt just a bit closer to Anna than before.
Written by shinmera