Assigment Day Nine: A man and a woman walk through the park, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench and knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Today’s twist: write this scene from the three different points of view.
‘What a nice day for a stroll through the park’, he thought. And it was even more amazing that they had found this little gem of a State Park not far away from where they were staying while driving down the coast. Redwoods rose into the air, so high that you had to tilt your head back until you could almost feel your upper vertebrae snap. Their branches spread out into the summer skies and provided enjoyable patches of shade in between islands of sun on the trail.
He grabbed her hand and led her further down the path. The trip had been her idea, and he was glad he had given in to it. A stroll through a city park would have been nice too, of course, and some fancy dinner afterwards, and maybe a show… But getting out of the city for a while, reconnecting with nature, coming to one’s senses again without the perpetual buzz of information overflow – that was priceless.
She was happy too that he had given in to this little excursion. Admittedly, her idea had more been that of a backpacking and hiking trip, but turning it into more relaxing vacation with a decent bit of pampering in nice, cozy bed and breakfasts and outings like this without the pressure of being the first at the top of the hill or at the end of the trail… It hadn’t crossed her mind before that she actually might enjoy this. She squeezed his hand, happy that he made her slow down and grounded her in the craziness of everyday life.
They walked along the majestic trees, spotting the occasional wild life (squirrels mostly, but also a deer or two), and enjoyed the silence, only interspersed with leaves rustling in the wind, birdsong and other sounds of nature.
A clicking sound. They looked at each other.
“Do you think this could be a woodpecker?”, she asked.
“Rather not. Maybe some very loud, wood-eating insects…”, he wondered.
She fondly thought that he still was a city boy, even after some years of shared outdoor experience. But he would never be a really outdoorsy guy… And she didn’t mind, smiling at him fondly.
The trail turned, and they got closer to the source of the sound.
An old woman, sitting on a bench in the middle of the Redwoods. Next to her sat her backpack, and her hands were busy knitting a tiny red sweater. She looked up, and greeted them with a nod of her head and a friendly smile.
An odd scenario, he thought. Her grey hair, pinned up in a lose bun, and an overall matronly appearance made her look like your average Granny, but her hiking gear and the half-finished sweater didn’t fit the image. Or… somehow they did. Discovering people like this old lady in the most unexpected places was what he loved about life. It was unpredictable. Just like her. His friend, his soulmate, the love of his life. He never ceased to discover new facets of her personality, even after so many years. And he had seen that indulgent, yet resilient smile on her face just a few seconds ago… She still took him for a city slicker.
They looked at each other, and continued to trot along the way, hand in hand. She turned around to get a last glance at the old lady knitting the sweater who had looked up from her knitting and contemplated the passing couple.
‘Once upon a time, that was me and my husband that wandered under these trees’, the old woman thought. ‘We had good moments here, and just over there, in this tree… that is where he carved a heart into the thick red bark. He showed it to me when he proposed. It was meant to be a surprise, and it was, but I knew he was up to something when he sneaked into the woods without me…’ She continued knitting as the couple continued on their way. This sweater would be the perfect gift for her grandson, and she would tell him stories about his grandfather during winter time, when the little guy would jump around in the sweater or snuggle up with her on the couch and drink some hot chocolate.
A hollow sound disrupted the silence around her. She looked up again. The man seemed to cry, but she couldn’t be so sure at this distance (and with her eyes). He definitely cringed. Apparently, he had tripped over a half-buried root that protruded out of the middle of the way. The young woman that was with him made him sit down and checked his ankle.
“I think the shock was worse than anything else, it isn’t sprained or something like that. Can you continue walking?”
She looked at him expectantly, and when he nodded, she helped him up and they continued at a slow pace, him checking the ground in front of him to avoid another misstep, not wanting to look like an idiot (again).
‘My little city boy’, she thought… smiling, and quite sure he didn’t catch it.
But he did.
The challenge and the original assignment can be found here: Writing 101 – Day Nine