Today’s Writing 101 Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.
Today’s twist: Write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.
I feel her step slow beside me and know she is watching that old woman on the bench. I feel her squeeze my hand and know I need to be strong for her. That red sweater is so small. I wonder who she is knitting it for. I imagine her daughter…or son…and his wife…they must be so excited, so full of hope…as we were. Were. I can’t hold it in anymore; I’ve been holding it in too long. I squeeze her hand back and think silently, I’m sorry, as the tears begin to fall…
My heart squeezes tightly in my chest as we pass the old woman sitting on the bench, knitting. I almost stop in my tracks, but force myself to keep walking. I squeeze Michael’s hand, and there is no response. He must not see that woman, see how small the sweater is…he must not wonder, like I do, about the child who will one day wear it…it’s been long enough now. I know that’s what Michael must think. We never talk about it. As if it never happened…but it did. Suddenly Michael squeezes my hand. Tightly. I look at him…and he is silently weeping.
The Old Woman
I have seen these two before. I watched them often, in their early happiness nearly a year ago. I watched over the next several months as their happiness…grew. I noticed, when for several weeks I did not see them, and I knew it was far too early. I noticed her, alone, a few weeks after that, running…running as if to get away from it. I want to tell her she is not alone. I want to tell her the pain will never go away completely, but it will fade. More happiness will come. I know this. So I have been sitting here for the past few weeks, knitting this small reminder. It is my way of saying to them, without the words that can be so painful…have hope.