Day 9 – 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 from the three different points of view.
Still not midday.
Pulling out my knitting to help pass the time, I glanced around the park. It’s a beautiful day. Warm enough to be comfortable, cool enough to need a jacket, clear blue sky and the sound of birds in the nearby trees. There were worse places to wait.
The wool on my fingers is rough and comforting. I don’t need to think about the pattern or stiches any more. Not for a long time. Not since I was five and learning from my grandma.
I think it’s sweet that the couple over there is holding hands. Young love. There’s nothing like it. I don’t know why they both have to wear black though. Today’s youth seemed to shun colour. Smiling I look down at the creation in my lap. The wool had been labelled ‘lobster’. I didn’t really like the label but I loved the colour. It is perfect for a boisterous three year old. Bright and full of life. I would see him today. My first great-grandchild. Children really did grow up fast these days. They no longer wanted to remain children.
I glanced at my broach-watch.
Still not midday.
The park was nearly empty. How could it not be raining? It should be raining. Instead it was bright sunshine.
It was Sunday. I knew it was Sunday. I didn’t want it to be Sunday. Sunday ended it all.
Michael was right. A walk was good. There were too many people. Friends, family…a crowd. I didn’t want to give anymore hugs. I didn’t want to hear any more platitudes. I didn’t even want to be here. I wanted the world to go away. I wanted an explanation. I wanted this to all be a dream. A nightmare. Nightmare dissipated in daylight. It was bright sunshine today. It should all be gone.
I wanted to hear his laughter. I wanted to hold him in my arms. I wanted to smell his sweet scent. To hear his voice, begging… “One more story, Mummy. One more.”
I wanted one more.
I’d never get one more. Never again. Why did God hate me so much?
Michael had been a stone statue. Cold and uncaring. He hadn’t even cried. How could he not feel this pain? How could he get out of bed every day and be so calm? Talk to people as if the very soul of our family hadn’t been ripped away.
How the hell had he wanted sex this morning?
The day Aiden…
Aiden…oh my baby Aiden.
I pulled my hand. Michael’s grip was firm, warm, suffocating.
I wanted to be free.
I tighten my grip. I needed her right now. She was my anchor. I tried to think of something to do. Something practical. Today was the end of the practicality.
I could feel myself cracking. I hated the cracks. I needed to focus on something.
How could I hold her together when I was beginning to fall apart? I made sure she ate. I made sure I was there when she needed me. I made the calls. I went to the morgue. I planned the funeral. I told our family, our friends and the pastor. I cleaned the house.
I needed her now. I needed to know that we were going to be okay.
She worried me.
Anna was like a ghost herself. And she was slipping away from me. I was still here. I still needed her. Did she need me?
I can’t crack now. I needed to be strong. To keep what was left of our family together. Night times I sat in his room. The darkness was a blanket. I hid in there. But come daylight and I had to keep the cracks from showing.
Anna tugged her hand again.
I closed my eyes. Please don’t pull away. Not now. How can I be strong for you if you’re not there? I need to feel you, touch you, hold you. I need to know you still exist. I can’t lose you too.
I opened my eyes and caught a flash of red.
Aiden’s favourite colour.
The wind tormented me with the echo of his laughter as Anne slipped out of my hand.
I’d lost them both.