I do not know these people.
The young man is going to marry the girl soon, and they are sitting in his future mother-in-law’s living room. They want to have four children. He already has a house on a lake and a good job. She thinks marriage will make everything all right.
These two people look like my parents and my grandmother told me they were my parents. I wouldn’t have a picture of strangers, so my parents they must be. But look at them–sitting together in a chair meant for one.
I don’t know who they are, but they are not the people I know.
In fiction, you get to put any character with another character as long as you can make your reader believe in it. Seeing is not enough. The words must come together in such a way that the reader knows those people must meet, and all contrivance is so cleverly hidden as to be unperceived or forgotten. Of course, Oedipus was on the road the same time as his father. Of course, the message missed Romeo. Of course, in the great, vast ocean Ahab could find his one, white whale. Why doubt it?
I was told the story of how these two people in the photograph met while sitting in cars at an intersection. Of course, that sounds completely contrived and ridiculous to me.