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.
Still without fail every Saturday morning Bill wakes up bright and early so that we can take our stroll through the park. It’s that one thing we’ve always done. After we walk, he wants something sweet and we usually end up at the little bake shop on Lexington. I think it’s something that has strengthened our bond. We walk, hold hands, and talk about everything under the Sun and nothing at all. Bill is a romantic at heart and like a typical man doesn’t want a soul to know it. It makes me laugh sometimes since he’s the one that does all the cutesy things that folks normally think that women do. Doesn’t matter to me though because I love him just the same. It’s funny though the little things that you pay attention to when you’re not distracted by the hustle and bustle of life. I think that’s also a part of why we still do this. The path we take goes from one end of the park to the other. I like to stop sometimes and feed the ducks. Bill gets me a bag of crusty old bread, we find ourselves a bench, and sit a while. As we stroll along the path looking for shady spot to sit, Bill nudges me and then points at a woman sitting on a bench up a ways. He whispers really close to my ear as if someone is listening, “Babe, she is sitting in our spot!” I look at him like he is nuts. He knows good and well none of these benches have our names on them. I nudge him back and say, “Honey, we can find another bench. I am sure she is trying to enjoy her morning just like we are.” Bill sighs and we keep walking up the path moving along in our own carefree gait. We are almost upon the woman that Bill pointed out earlier. I smile and greet her, “Good morning.” She looks up from what looks like yarn in a canvas bag, smiled brightly and said, “Good morning, dear! Now that’s what I like to see a couple in love.” Bill lovingly smiles down at me, looks at the older woman and says, “And I love her dear…” Bill pauses abruptly and stops walking mid-stride. He is squeezing my hand. I look up at him with concern and say, “Bill..honey, are you alright?” Bill doesn’t respond but he has not stopped squeezing my hand. I place my other hand upon his chest and speak softly, “Bill…” He looks down at me and his eyes are rimmed with tears ready to fall. I place my hand on his cheek and ask, “Honey, what’s wrong?” He turns toward me and speaks softly barely allowing the words to escape his lips, “Come on babe, let’s forget about the ducks and pastries and go home.” I start to wonder if he is suddenly ill as I touch his face, “Should we go to the hospital. Are you feeling alright?” He nods slowly as he tries to turn me in the direction of the car. I grab a light hold on his arm to halt his movement, “Bill, what’s going on?” He draws in a deep breath and sighs loudly and steps aside. The woman on the bench is concentrating on the knitting needles and the bundle of yarn she has in her lap. I look up at Bill and I look back at the woman. “Do you know her, Bill?” Bill shakes his head and holds me close. I look up at him again and then at the woman. It’s at that moment that I see it. The thing that has caused the tears in my husband’s eyes. The thing that has made this sweet, sweet man want to protect me from it. The older woman is knitting a small red sweater; the small red sweater that could have belonged to our child. Our child…my breath caught in my throat. Bill can see my reaction. He wants to absorb the pain he knows is coming. He grabs my hands and pulls them to his lips to kiss each one. “Babe, look at me.” I look up at him. “Babe, you know I love you, right?” I smile weakly at him. He holds me by my hips and forces me to him. I hold him to keep from drowning. He whispers softly, “You are perfect, you are all I need.” He kisses my forehead. “Bill, I wish…” He cuts me off and shakes his head. “Didn’t you hear what I just said?” The tears flow rapidly down my cheeks. “Dianna, nothing else matters in this world to me but you.” The way Bill loves me I know he is telling me the truth but in my gut I know he wants a child of his own. A child that I will never be able to give him. “Babe, let me take you home.” Bill holds me around my waist and slowly guides me in the opposite direction towards the car. He turns slowly and waves at the older woman. She waves back and said, “Enjoy your day, keep on loving each other.” Bill says, “We will!” He plants another sweet kiss on my temple and walks us back to the car to take us home so that he can hold me and love me like I know he does.