He looked across the table. The table, too polite to voice a dissenting opinion, allowed him the freedom to gaze.
The woman opposite was striking. Obviously a great beauty in her youth, the flame of a pleasing physique still burned in her ivory skin and golden locks. A careless smile greeted him as he met her eyes, a match-head burning down behind her pupils. Then she stopped, and wrinkled. She was getting old, he though. We all are.
He reached across the table, touching her arm. When he had first met her, 40 years ago perhaps, she had been soft and supple. Of course, she was harder now; more jagged. He knew, of course, that as a woman aged, she began slowly to turn to rock. It was common knowledge. But still, he had expected something more... shimmering in this case. An amethyst or shining geode.
Now that the light was dying down, he saw her skin free of illuminating reflection. She was greying, lichen and moss growing in the creases of her skin.
He chuckled as he looked at her - he was a fine one to talk, after all. Ageing had been kinder to him than to some, but he knew he was no Adonis. His fingers were long and damp to the touch, and fish swam the lengths of his shoulders in the evening breeze.
"What are you laughing about?" She asked at length.
"Just thinking." He replied. "We're old, you and I. Remember when we first met?"
He needed say no more. The very idea that they would grow old at all, when they had first met so many years ago, seemed ridiculous. But now, the long years had taken their toll.
They left the café, with a generous tip for the waiter, and strolled down the path beside the river. Reaching a bench, they stopped and sat quietly in the park. The sun set and the night closed around them, and the fireflies buzzed gently. Then the sun rose again, and dawn broke the night's peace quietly.
They held hands on the bench as the sun rose. Then, as it reached the highest point, he turned to her.
She shimmered in the light. Perhaps, he though, he'd been wrong after all. A hint of quartz. He smiled to himself, chuckling at length. She would have liked that, perhaps. Quartz.
He kissed her forehead. She didn't move, it was beyond her now.
Leaving her where she sat, immobile and immovable, he walked to the fence beside the river. He leaned over it and waited.
No point in making a mess, after all.