— I’m so sorry. I…Are you okay? Did I hurt you? Are your packages ok, they’re all so nicely wrapped, I hope they’re… Let me help you pick all this up from the sidewalk. ’Am so sorry.
— Hey, it’s okay. No harm done. Actually, I’m glad to see you. Really glad to see you, Anne. Hey, listen, you have time for coffee? Please say you do.
— I’d love to explain. Please, give me a chance.
— Sure. Okay.
— Thanks for helping me pick up my packages. There’s a coffee shop around the corner.
— Can I help you carry them?
— My car’s right there.
Feeling flushed, Anne turns her back so that Michael won’t see her face redden.
— Let me help you, Anne, says Michael tenderly, while holding Anne’s elbow-covered cashmere coat in his strong hand. A strand of chestnut-colored hair escapes from her color, blending in with the camel color of her winter coat.
His gesture brings Anne back to when they were engaged to be married. Best friends they were, told each other everything. Everything…until… What happened? How strange he reappears now. Now that…
A Veteran, dressed as Santa, is tolling a bell in memory of those fallen. Michael pulls paper money out of his jeans pocket. He wraps his arm around Anne’s shoulders, as if not wanting to lose her again, while extending the other to drop the money in the red bucket. The Veteran Santa smiles takes a look at the bill and smiles in appreciation to Michael.
A peaceful silence hugs them. They walk in step, the snow crunches under their footsteps and fills the air with its sounds. He opens the glass door to the Café. The aroma of chestnuts roasting by the fire, caramel, and rifle coffee beans reaches them. Michael sees a table with two chairs near the bookshelves of merchandise at the other end of the shop, and leads Anne towards it.