The Red Sweater
Today’s 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 felt the leaves crunch under my feet as Angie and I made our way to the park on our way home from work. There was a stiff breeze blowing and I zipped up my jacket half way.
“Feeling cold? uh?” asked Angie, looking at my face with surprise writ large in her eyes, warm, honey brown eyes flecked with green.
“Yes, I know it’s unusual for me to feel cold. You’re the one who generally shivers isn’t it?” She nodded in agreement and came closer to me, clutched at my elbow and buried her face in my sleeve. I could feel the pressure of her soft fingers as she tried to comfort me with the gentle caress of her hands.
“Come, let’s sit by one of the benches, ” she urged as we took the path towards the pond.
I hate this time of year. That’s when Paul always gets broody. “Perhaps you’ll feel happy feeding the squirrels, ‘ I said gently pulling him along. A fat squirrel scurried by the fallen leaves and quickly climbed up the tree. I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of his plump body wiggling up. It reminded me of Squirrel Nutkin, my mom’s favourite bed time story that she loved reading out to me. “Oooo look at that fat little fellow !Have you ever read about Squirrel Nutkin?” somehow the words came out of my mouth without thinking.
He looked up at me puzzled by the strange question, his raised eyebrow asking “what on earth is that? ”
“Oh it’s just a children’s book . My favourite nursery tale. The squirrel reminded me of that.” The minute I said that, I bit my lip. I could sense his instant withdrawl.
Why do the words children and death recur in every conversation? The thought of Beth seems to hang like a cloud over me. I can’t seem to escape the image of her crushed body . I crushed Angie’s hand as if punishing her for reminding me of the horrendous accident that had robbed me of my wife and unborn child all those years’ ago.
“I’m sorry, that was thoughtless of me,” she said, rubbing my arm in apology. “I don’t know why I told you about the squirrel.”
“Never mind, my little nutkin,” I said, pulling her closer. She was trying to be a comfort after all. “Come, there’s a bench waiting for us,” I said as we walked towards the pond in the middle of the park.
“Don’t go to the Bench of Sorrows,” I wanted to shout to the young couple. But they looked determined to go there. Or were they just going to walk around? Sometimes I imagine too much, I thought as I clicked my knitting needles. Ah. Ana would be pleased I thought as I saw the little sleeves , a tiny red sweater to match Ana’s own. The couple came closer, and suddenly the man looked me in the eye, distracted by the click clack of my knitting needles. Suddenly, he burst into tears and the young woman pulled out a piece of tissue.