An Indifferent Love Story
Once upon a time Victoria Anderson and Vincent Ang sat at the same school table, looking in different directions. Sometimes sitting by first name, some times by last, but either way always lumped together. Not that they cared, if they did they would have asked to move, but they didn't.
So they marked each others' homework, which they did without a word or glance, just sliding the paper when they were done. And, of course, project partners, spending hours in each others' bedrooms with Victoria on the bed and Vincent at the desk.
It was the same outside of school, their parents were close -- much closer than their children. At sporting events, picnics and shows, Victoria and Vincent sat together in silence.
If Vincent was shopping with his father there, by outrageous chance, was Victoria with her mother.
"Fancy seeing you two here," his father would say.
"Look at this, Vicky, it's Vince and his father," her mother would reply.
While their parents' gossiped and laughed Vincent poked at the cheese and Victoria rattled the chalk.
It was either the best-kept worst secret or the worst-kept best secret. The whole school knew they were dating -- so obvious -- why else would the spend all their time together? You just had to invite both to a party -- they were an item. If the bottle landed on one then someone would laughingly point it to the other. They spent hours in heaven, locked in the closet by their friends, standing with coats and jackets between them.
And no one asked them out. Why should they? They were meant to be together. It would be heartless to break them up.
Eventually they could think of nothing else but to cede to life's hints and get married.
And have children too, using tongs and tubes and sheets with holes and ten foot poles and ear muffs and blindfolds and safety goggles.
They lived separately together in the same house. Occupying different rooms, eating meals in shifts, raising children by rota. Children that grew up and to have children of their own.
On their sixtieth wedding anniversary, surrounded by children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, they were asked, "with everyone getting divourced, how were you able to stay together so long?"
Vincent replied without any emotion, "stuck in the same place at the same time."
But the only ones who didn't laugh at his apparent dry wit were Victoria and Vincent, sat at the same table, looking in different directions.