I was sitting at the table closest to the door of the busy café with John. He was talking enthusiastically about the concert and how wonderful it had been. I tried to pay attention to him, following his excited hand gestures with my eyes, but not registering what his moving lips were saying.
A group of young ladies walked into the café and I recognised them immediately. Just about an hour ago, I had been sitting with John in the impressive Royal Albert Hall, watching and listening to them play. John had bought us tickets to see the famous orchestra to celebrate our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary.
“What did you think about the show, Margaret?” I finally heard him ask. He was looking at me with questioning eyes. I looked at him, taking in his blue eyes, chiselled face and greying beard.
“I enjoyed every minute of it dear” I replied, pasting a smile on my face, but once again I was drawn to the group of young ladies ordering their coffees at the counter. I watched them talking and smiling amongst each other. One of them was holding a violin case that caught my attention. She looked like she was twenty years old – her face glowed with youth and pride. I remembered she had caught my eye during the concert as she played her violin. I stared at her with a feeling of awe and envy, for she reminded me of myself when I was her age.
I could have been playing the violin at impressive concert venues too, I thought to myself, if I had made the right choices thirty years ago. Instead I had wasted my musical talents pursuing frivolous goals. Now I’m condemned to sit in the audience and applaud. I would never take to the stage myself and receive applause.
I heard John saying something about another cup of coffee.
“Sorry?” I asked.
“Do you want another cup of tea, Margaret?”
I shook my head. “No I’m okay, thank you”
I watched John as he walked to the counter. Then I looked at the young girl again and I wanted to relive my life.