The following day I sat down at this little cafe I knew.
It was quiet and the serving staff moved slowly, as if every slight movement was a new shock to their system. I didn't feel great myself, stirring my tea perhaps a little too long.
Then the door opened and in came one half of the twins I saw yesterday, dressed in the same smart clothes. They barely looked wrinkled.
He, however, was very pale and had this look in his eye. It wasn't quite the same hundred yards stare as everyone else in the place, his look seemed to have a more tangible target in mind.
He flinched as the sleepy waitress came to take his order and fell back into the same reverie as soon as she had gone.
I started devising scenarios of where the brother might be: nursing a hangover, lagging behind, just around the corner. That wasn't it though. I just knew. His absence was tied inextricably with this brother's sickly silence.
I sympathised: not easy with perfect strangers but at the same time impossible not to when I saw the once lively old man before me.
Except perhaps he wasn't so old. In fact he could have been middle-aged, his uncomfortable movements added years to his appearance.
When I could bear it no longer, I finished my tea and paid at the counter. When I turned to leave, he was still there though I had expected him to be gone.
As I crossed his table on the way out I realised something. It was natural, whatever had happened, sad but still cause and effect. They had looked too much alike: now this brother could wear his own style, be his own man.
While his brother had obviously been wasting away, this man had a full head of hair, no white in his beard at all. He still had time.
Be different, I thought as I looked at him one last time through the display window. Good luck.