These two images were made in July 1975.
The images were made with a kodak 126 format instamatic camera - nothing special, but able to record history. The shots were made within a minute of each other, the person with the camera changing position by a metre or so and changing direction slightly.
The young kid in the yellow jumper turned ten years old that week, or the next. His name is David.
The young girl in gray with her hand on the dog was maybe three years older. Her name is Sharon.
You can see the back of David's head at the bottom of that frame too.
That was July 1975.
Today, July 14th, they celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them. Last time I saw them they seemed to be still head over heels in love with each other.
Take another look.
The boy next to David was sixteen years old.
The girl in yellow next to Sharon turned seventeen years old that month.
They too were already friends, having met two years earlier and over the next eight months they cemented what they both were later to call the best friendship of their lives. Unbeknownst to most of their friends, family and associates, the months of December '75 to February '76 saw them build a closeness that would not have been guessed at. It was suspected at by a few but was oblivious to most.
However. There is always a however.
However - youthful misunderstandings, external influences, other young potentials, missed signals, words unsaid that should have been said, words said that ought not have been said - these things and more conspired to prevent the happy ending that came to the young David and Sharon.
Life saw them take different paths. They both saw the highs of life - each had three kids with all the joys that come with that. Each had good friends, reasonable health, a full life with a variety of interests.
They also saw the lows of life - unhappy marriages with all the pain that comes with that. Divorce, loneliness, the occasional onset of sadness.
What they never did was to forget each other even though they had lost touch. It turns out that they were sometimes just a few hours from each other and never knew. There was a particular instance when they were in the same room a few mere minutes apart - yet never knew until more than thirty years later.
They saw each other briefly in August 1980 at the funeral of his sister. The girl in yellow had a baby by then. The boy lived on the other side of the country. They were happy to see each other, but nervous too. There were certain feelings and words unsaid. Status had changed. A married woman with a child. A young single man. Nothing could ever be the way it was. Friendships alter.
Or do they?
For over thirty years there was no contact. No knowledge. There were those who could have connected them, but for some reason chose not to.
But they never forgot. Every now and then they would cross each other's mind. Every now and then they tried to find out about the other. For all they each knew, the other could have been dead for years.
A little over three years ago, after years of wondering and searching, he found her. He heard her story. She heard his. His marriage had ended many years before and hers was in serious trouble. Not all saw it that way, but there are none so blind as those who will not see, as they say.
Amid no small amount of condemnation, vilification, abuse and judgement (some deserved, some not so) they fell naturally into the friendship that they once enjoyed. This time however, the friendship became something else.
How does the long tale end?
The future is not yet written but they plan to get married later this year.
It's thirty five years or so later than they would have liked it to be, but for the first time in three decades both of them are truly happy.