For today’s assignment, write a scene at the park. Up for a twist? Write the scene from three different points of view.
The park isn’t Central Park (I’ve never been there to know how to describe it) and the couple walking are on a first-date, getting to know you, trial basis walk. Her idea.
Linked arm-in-arm, he about two feet taller than she, both dressed for work at the nearby big city office buildings, people passing can’t help but notice and smile. They’re either mismatched, ideal, cute, or not – depends on who is doing the looking and judging.
As they round a tree-lined bend, they both notice benches and she suggests they occupy one to talk. When he doesn’t reply, she looks up to see him staring ahead as if lost in deep thought.
“What’s wrong?” she’ll ask. He’ll snap out of it, shake his head, and proceed with her to the bench across from this old lady. The old lady is alone, minding her business of knitting something with red yarn.
The girl is all smiles, anxious to find out more about the new guy in accounting. He’s tall and handsome, just her speed, and if this leads to all things serious, she should be on cloud nine by five o’clock.
She turns and sets a hand on his sturdy shoulder, ready to ask the first of many personal yet pertinent questions when she notices there are tears in his pretty, brown eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she asks again, pouting now before glancing in the direction of his obvious interest. She see’s the old woman still knitting away, creating what looks to her like the beginnings of a scarf. It’s too early to tell. “Do you know that woman? Why are you so sad?”
“I’m not,” he replies, sniffing and using an index finger to wipe the fact from his red cheeks. “She made me remember someone, that’s all.”
“Tears,” she thinks. “I hope he’s not too sentimental. I don’t mind compassion – for me – but, if he’s going to be like this over little things, then -.”
“A few years ago, I was in Mexico on business,” he said. “Standing outside a tiny, shaved ice stand waiting for my order when I turned and saw this old woman seated on a bench outside another small shop across the street. I saw the rough guys exit that shop, too, but I turned to pay for my sno-cone when shots rang out. I dropped to the ground instinctively, and when it got quiet again, I turned to see what happened.”
She has already gasped and continues to stare in agape awe of the things he is relating to her. His watery eyes still riveted on the old woman across the path from them.
“The old woman,” he said and attempted to point but was too weak from the grief he still felt to raise his arm. “She was lying sideways on the bench, as if asleep, with her knitting needles still in her hands.”
The startled girl slowly pries her eyes away from her potential to gaze at the old woman, alive and smiling as she worked her knitting magic on the red yarn.
“He is compassionate,” the girl is thinking. “What a sad story! But,” she looks at him with a worried pout, still thinking, “PTS? Can I deal with something like that, I wonder?”
Across the walkway, the old woman gently bobs in place, humming an old tune that just popped into her head. She’s happy and can’t wait to finish the scarf in time for her lover’s birthday.
The younger couple watching her are surprised to see two orderlies jog up, flank the old woman, and proceed to cautiously encourage her to come along with them – back to the rest home a few blocks away.
(I decided to keep this as is … not wanting to participate and then ending up weaving this story. Forgive me if it throws any of you off.)