My friend and I ate at a restaurant featuring a buffet a while ago. I noticed this lady moving chairs at a set of tables. An elder man was sitting in the chair at the end of the table. A bit later a couple more people sat down. Lastly, two more sat. Then, the waitress moved a wheelchair out of the aisle.
I didn't think much more about it until the lady came back with a plate for the man. His demeanor was quiet, not wanting to call attention to himself. His head hung down, his hands were in his lap and he slouched. A cursory glance at the rest of his family showed them settling in for their meal.
I happened to look at that table later and there was a change in the man. His face was lit up, he was smiling, he sat straighter. It was like a light had come on.
I stared far longer than needed. I was that amazed at the change in this elder. The rest of the diners at his table were looking at him. I shook my head, then paid attention to my own table companion. I told her of my observation. I was still amazed.
A few minutes later, I glanced at the table. The man was back to the original demeanor, a bit more tired. The lady across from him was getting his food. I know, because I looked for her. This intrigued me. I began to wonder what was happening to cause this change. It wasn't an isolated incident. Our meal lasted about 45 minutes. In that time, the man's face changed three times. I watched him eat, normal. He didn't put himself forward though.
My companion and I left the restaurant before I could observe their leave taking. There were other details: one of the females, the youngest, had her meals served to her also, as did one other woman at the table. I noticed their physical characteristics, the limits of their physical boundaries.
My companion was too polite to ask me if I was planning a scene around this incident; she had that puzzled look which meant she was thinking. I hadn't thought of it at the time. In my reading over what I wrote, there did happen to be a scene with some of the elements of my observations. I hadn't realized how deep an impression it made.
Thinking about this has made me realize that I could plot at least three different story lines. Hey, I think a light bulb has just clicked on, 45 years late. I look for writing prompts on the net, when I have a great deal of my own already.