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
Woman on the Bench
I live alone. My children live close by and they visit every week. Some of my grandchildren also live near by and I see them regularly as well. I get together with my friends, a group of women I have known for most of my life, once a week for lunch. We talk about our families, shows we have watched, the world around us and tell lies about friends long gone.
When my husband was alive, he is long since passed, we went for walks through the neighbourhood and along the river. We fed the ducks and often we would find a quiet bench where we could sit and watch the world go by. We would see friends out walking and make new ones. We watched couples meet and eventually come by pushing a stroller or walking with their children. I don’t like just sitting alone in my apartment so I keep walking and I come to my bench to sit and watch and say hi to my friends passing by.
I have lived here for most of my life. My parents came to this neighbourhood when they immigrated here from the old country. I never left. I met my husband here and raised my family here. I have watched buildings and people come and go. I have met people who have come here from all over the old. This is my home.
In a few weeks my first great-grandchild will be born. I don’t know if I will have a great-grandson or a great-granddaughter. Everybody seems to want to know. Not me. I think it is amazing that I have been blessed to live long enough to have any great-grandchildren.
I first learned to knit from my mother and over the years have knit more sweaters, hats, mitts and socks for my children and grandchildren than I can remember. My hands are slower now and I have to pause to let them rest. Still I knit and now I am making a sweater for my new grandchild. It is red. Red is our colour.
My wife and I just moved here. She was offered a new job that was a great opportunity. We talked about it for a long time while she was doing the interviews. If she got the job it would mean moving to a new city and it would mean that I would need to quit my job and find something new. Both of these things were pretty intimidating prospects. It is no small thing to uproot your life, leave your friends and a job you enjoy and move to a new place five hours away. In the grand scheme of things it isn’t that far. We can still go back and visit friends and they can come and see us.
We found this great turn of the century home in a fantastic neighbourhood. The house needs some work so we got it for a good price and I have something to keep me busy while we get settled. I am doing most of the work renovating the house and overseeing the contractors that we bring in for certain aspects. I’ve electrocuted myself enough times in my life to know I ought to leave any electrical work to the professionals. We have only been here a few weeks and we have discovered that this is a fabulous neighbourhood for walking. You can see the history of the community in the buildings. There is all kinds of great architecture here to look at. At the end of our street there is a path that takes us along the river. It is so peaceful. The ice has just melted off the river over the past week. There are a few benches along the path where you can sit and watch the water and just let the breeze and the sounds tickle your senses. It seems like you could probably meet the whole neighbourhood if you sat on one of these benches long enough.
A couple of days ago my wife told me we were in for another change – I am going to be a dad! We haven’t been trying to get pregnant for that long. I guess we are fertile people. I am very excited and not a little terrified. I have n idea how to be a dad. I don’t know how to change a diaper or deal with a temper tantrum. How do we know which schools are good? I just want my kid to have a good life and I hope I can provide that for him or her. We don’t know if we’ll find out whether we are having a girl or a boy. I don’t think it really matters. I just want a healthy kid. One of our friends had a baby a few months ago and she didn’t find out. She said it was one of the only opportunities in life to be truly surprised. We’ll figure it out when the time comes.
We decided to do some more neighbourhood exploring today. We always seem to end up at the river. Our walk today has been pretty silent. Neither of us have much to say. I actually have so much to say that I can form the ideas and thoughts bouncing around in my head into coherent sentences. We are going through so much change right now and I know it is all for the better. At the same time it is all kind of freaking me out right now.
On our walks along the river, we often see the same elderly woman sitting on a bench by the river. We have waved to her a couple of times and said hi to her the other day. She is always alone on her bench. I wonder if she is lonely. She is usually just sitting watching the world go by and on a couple of occasions she has been knitting something red. Maybe we’ll get to see what she is making.
It is such a beautiful day. I wasn’t sure about moving here. In the few weeks we have been living in this neighbourhood I have already grown to love it. This is going to be a fantastic place to raise our daughter. My husband says he doesn’t care whether we have a boy or a girl and doesn’t want to find out. I already know she is a girl. I can feel her. I can’t really explain how, but this child growing within my belly is definitely a girl.
I think he is overwhelmed by the whole becoming a father thing. I’ve had a little more time to process this concept. I’ve been feeling a bit different for a couple of weeks and my tastes have changed. Food tastes different now. I looked it up on the internet and apparently that can happen when you are pregnant. I suppose that is why some women go for the whole pickles and ice cream combo.
This river is so beautiful and peaceful. We didn’t have any space like this before we moved. The burbling water and the wind in the trees is so calming. I can already see us sitting on a bench feeding the ducks with our daughter. I can picture myself living here for the rest of my life. We see so many people walking along here by the river. I just want to be like the woman we sitting on her bench greeting people and watching everything that happens around here. She seems like the neighbourhood grandmother. She is often knitting. I wonder who she knits for. Where is her family? She is always sitting alone, but she seems to have friends here. I wonder what her story is. I bet she has seen a lot of change around here.
The woman is there again today on her bench, knitting. It seems like it is painful for her. She is knitting very slowly. The past few times we have seen her she has been working on something red. Maybe we’ll see what it is going to be today.
Oh, that is cute, she is making a little red sweater! I wonder who it is for.
I look over at my husband to ask him who he thinks she is making it for and I notice tears rolling down his checks. Wow, he really is overwhelmed by the idea of becoming a dad. I know he’ll be great. He clearly needs some more time to process this.
“What’s the matter honey?”
“Well I just noticed that old woman is making a little red sweater.”
“I knew there were going to be a lot of changes when we decided to move and I wasn’t really expecting you to get pregnant so fast.” “What if our kid doesn’t grow up to be Maple Leafs fan?”
“Oh.” “Well it is probably for the best. At least now you can go to playoff games.”
This is one of my pieces for the WordPress Writing 101 workshop and I welcome any critiques you might offer about the writing in this post.