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Chapter 9: Lovers

The other two were lovers. They were young but didn't carry themselves with that annoying puppy love. They acted like a couple who had been together a long while, sharing a secret language of barely noticeable glances and gestures. Old souls, he supposed. Jan hadn't left Berlin until he was in his twenties - odd for a European with inexpensive access to half a dozen nearby countries. He'd finally left to go to Australia a couple years back and met Jen. She was a veteran traveller who'd backpacked through Europe, frequented Taipei, spent a while tending bar in Shinjuku, volunteered in Benin, toured Brazil, hiked through Chile, and had a functional understanding of something like eight languages. They'd fallen hopelessly for each other.

Nothing about Nat seemed to him to be cool enough to be included but when he was seated at the table next to them at the pub, he quickly found himself drawn into their conversation.

Jan was an absolute riot; one of those naturally funny people with a disarming charisma. He and Matty never stopped talking. It wasn't until they'd left the pub and shared in a handful of mushrooms Jen had produced from a fanny pack that he remembered he was supposed to go to a concert.

A cafe patio Photo by Gio on Unsplash