The Red Sweater
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.
The morning sun is dappled as it flashes between the leaves of the trees lining the main pathway of the park. I hold my wife’s hand easily inside my own, cradling it protectively. We walk along slowly, savoring the time we have together. We follow the curving path matching our footsteps in time.
Coming around the bend in the path, I see her. An old woman, her grey hair blowing in the breeze, knitting a small red sweater, while seated at the bench. I look at the woman and start to cry as the realization that I must leave tomorrow really sinks into my brain. The thought of leaving now gouges at me.
I grip my wife’s hand tighter and say, “I know this overseas assignment is going to be hard on you, what with the baby coming and all.” “Don’t worry about me,” she replies. “Your folks will help.”
I look at her, wiping my eyes with my sleeve. “I know,” I say to her gently. I kiss her lips and hold her tightly to my chest, one hand on her protruding belly. My baby is in there, I think to myself.
The morning breezes stir my wife’s hair, tickling my chin. I smile down into her upturned face kissing her again. At this moment and time, I do not want her to know what my mission in Syria will be. It is better she never find out.
The park is cool this early in the morning as the mellow wind wafts through the trees. “Our path,’’ I think to myself. My husband firmly holds my hand inside his as we walk together enjoying the sounds of the birds flitting from branch to branch in the trees above us. The sun is warm when it touches me in between the shade of the trees. I feel like I am in a movie, like time is incomplete, or in slow motion.
We keep step with each other, in unison, walking and swaying. I think about us walking like this and wonder if our life together has been just one long dance. As we round the bend in the path I see an old woman sitting on our bench. In her gnarled hands I see the flashing of red yarn as she knits a tiny sweater.
My husband sees the woman too and he cries out, tears in his eyes. I know he saw that tiny baby sweater she is knitting, I thought. I grab his hand tighter, holding on to him. I feel the baby kick, tiny flutters pushing against his hand. He kisses me deeply.
After a moment of blissful eternity, my husband says, “I know this overseas assignment is going to be hard on you, what with the baby coming and all.” I squeeze his hand reassuringly, “Don’t worry about me.” “Your folks will help.” I choke back my own tears. Plenty of time for crying after he is gone, I think to myself, gaining control of my emotions for the fifth time that day.
He leaves for Syria tomorrow. An assignment we never thought he would get because the baby is due in only a few months. He had worked it out with his commander. He would be able to stay here with me until the baby was born. That is life in the military. If they wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one, I thought bitterly.
He kisses me again, all the while looking at me with a wistful smile on his face. I close my eyes and melt into his arms.
The Old Woman:
What a lovely morning this has been, thought the old woman. I am glad I decided to get out of the house and enjoy the summer breezes here in the park. The leaves rustled in the trees and flashed brightly in the pattered sunshine making her silver hair glow brightly in the sun.
She picked up her knitting, pulling the thick red yarn out of her basket. The tiny red sweater was really taking shape. She had been working on this gift for her new grandson for several months now. Her knitting needles clicked together, as if keeping time with the young couple walking down the path.
(Image credit: Cardigan Jumpers)
The old woman glanced up and noticed the couple hand in hand, in perfect rhythm, walking toward her. What a handsome couple they are, she thought. The wife is pregnant too! How wonderful to see them so in love walking in the park, she thinks to her herself.
Curious now, and remembering her own past loves, the old woman peeks at them through her downturned lashes. She watches as the man suddenly grabs the young woman tightly to him, and kisses her, their hands intertwined over her large belly.
The old woman blushes as if she was witnessing something she should not. How lovely together they are, she thinks. This is a private time between them. I should get up and leave them alone.
She gathers up her knitting and places the tiny red sweater in her basket. I just cannot wait until my grandson is born, she smiles to herself. The old woman slowly walks past the couple who do not even see her leave the park.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed this story from three different perspectives,