Prompt – A man and a women walk through a park together, holding hands. They pass an old women sitting on a bench. The old women is knitting a mall red sweater. The man begins to cry.
Write from the point of view of each character
The Old Women –
The old Women approaches a wooden park bench, paint flaking from the surface a result of the exposure to the city’s weather conditions, the large skyscraper buildings doing little to protect those below, their only purpose to defend the pavement of sunlight she thinks. Brushing some leaves away from the seat she places a home knitted blanket down first providing cushioning and comfort for her frail behind, cushioning once provided by body fat, that has quickly decreased as her age has done the reverse.
She places down her hand bag, and pulls out her knitting, a vibrant red jumper, small enough to fit a newborn. The old women feels this may be her final project, her hands don’t move as fast as they used to. A project she could once get completed in a day, now takes up to a week. Her petite hands requesting more rest time from her then she would like to give. But she must listen to her aches and pains and no when enough is enough she has been warned. She will be able to continue for longer if she doesn’t push herself to hard. And with exciting events up ahead, she forces herself to listen to such directions.
The park is still, peering up to the sky the clouds move fast, as if they are in a sprinting race today. The winds that would howling up there, are doing little to the peaceful space below. The calm won’t last long the old women anticipates a fresh autumn storm coming on. The weatherman predicted a clear day, but the women’s bones tell her different, the dull ache she feels in her joints has never lied yet. She pulls her favourite brown worn woollen jumper around her tighter before directing her eyes away from the racing sky’s. A man and a women holding hands catch her eye approaching as they come out from under the bridge…
The Women –
Getting up early in the morning can be such a drag when it is your day off, thinks the women. Why did he think to organise a breakfast so early, a day off should be used for relaxation, a sleep in, we could have had a brunch instead. She grumbles her way to the wardrobe as she contemplates what to where for the day. Glancing at the TV the weather man stands in front of his board, digitally added to the TV image, he is standing in front of her districts temperature, he always does this she thinks to herself, it’s going to be one of those days.
She chooses to dress in layers, black stockings, dark brown knee-high leather boots with a heel high enough to be appropriate for the day but low enough to still add the height she is seeking, leg warmers for added warmth, a thin knitted long sleeve dress in charcoal, perfect to wear inside where a coat is not required with a thick winter military style coat and a white cable knit scarf, even if the weatherman had shown her the prediction he is always wrong, she doesn’t know why she wastes her time considering it.
The man enters the room signifying the time and urging them out the door. Why such a rush she thinks, it is just us two after all, no one is waiting for us. They walk the pavement in the crisp morning air, their breath blowing smoke clouds in front of them. They don’t talk but instead place their heads down, going through the motion of reaching their destination.
They have their orders taken for breakfast, they still haven’t spoken. She has ordered she favourite, whole grain oats, with hot milk, cinnamon sugar, a drizzle of honey with a serving of steaming stewed winter fruits. Perfect of the crisp morning ahead. She places her hands around her steaming mug of hot chocolate and looks down into the pattern of a leaf artistically placed through the foamed milk. She looks over at her partner who hasn’t said a word, he provides her with half a smile before averting his eyes to the waiter approaching with their meals.
Taking queue, she adjusts the positioning of the items on the table to make room, they never make these tables big enough she thinks. She delves into her breakfast, eager for a reason to fill her mouth with food so she has an excuse for the lack of conversation. If he isn’t speaking them I don’t have the energy to do so either, he always comes clean with it in the end anyway, I will give him time.
She finishes her meal with a satisfied thanks from her tummy, thankful for the choice of wearing layers to hide the bloating she can feel making an appearance. She looks over at the man opposite her trying to read his face, he has managed to eat maybe one of his poached eggs and some of his sautéed mushrooms, the other egg split over his toast now a yolky cold soggy mess, the diced avocado still in its perfect artistic slices, what a waste. She excuses herself for the toilet, allowing him space to finish his meal without her watching him. She dawdle in the bathroom, fixing her makeup, retucking all her layers and even consults hr emails for anything important.
As she comes back out the man waits by the door, her coat in hand and the bill paid. Well at least he was a gentleman she thinks. She glances at the table to make sure nothing is forgotten, noticing his plate remains as it was before she went to the bathroom.
As they leave the café, the park entrance is situated over the road. ‘shall we wander through here?’ The man asks the women. Slightly shocked by his urge to place them into another situation where conversation is required, she accepts and allows him to take her hand as they approach the underpass of the bridge. His warm hand feels nice in hers as they walk together taking in their surroundings. As they come out from under the bridge the women notices an old lady seated on the bench, the bright red jumper in her hands a stark contrast to the browned grass and leaves of the winter foliage. She must be freezing she thinks, her frail body huddles in her winter coat. She glances up at them, and the women hears the man sniff, upon looking at him she notices a tear roll down his cheek..
He gets up for the day, and shuffles around the women he shares his life with, going through the motions of the morning tasks as he feels somewhat detached from reality this morning. He is consumed by his own thoughts and as he enters the room to hurry his partner along, he is completely unaware of his lack of morning conversation as they pace the pavement to the reservations he has made for their breakfast.
Somewhat regretting the decision to sit through breakfast, having to make conversation about matters far from his point of interest at this stage, his stomach churns as he reads through the menu. A simple eggs and bacon will suffice.
The breakfast passes by and in a dream of his own thoughts he hardly notices the silence that has occurred, hardly fazed by his partners stone stares in an obvious attempt to force him to open up.
My thoughts are my own, he thinks to himself. She will know soon enough anyway.
As she excuses herself to the bathroom he pushes his hardly touches plate away and rises from his table, considering how the morning has unfolded he considers his lack of attention to her. I best get the bill, he thinks. A small apology but one none the less.
As he watches her return he takes more notice of her, the shape of her body not to hidden under her choice of winter layers, he is happy to still appreciate it.
He feels his cloud of thoughts begin to subside, and he indicates a walk through the park. The cool open air he feels will do them both some good, glad he chose this destination.
He takes her hand, noticing how cold it is, and feels he can repay her somewhat for this mornings performance by warming it up for her.
The come out from under the bridge and his eyes lock on the pure reason for all this mornings performance.
The women that raised him, just as he remembered her, only different, worn by the life she had after he was gone.
A tear rolls down his cheek as she glances up to them…