The Red Sweater

Day Nine: Point of View

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: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

 

Man’s Perspective

The tears well up in his eyes and threaten to spill down his face. After all these years he was still surprised at how quickly the pain could come searing back into his soul. The counselors had said it would take time, that time would heal all wounds.  It had been a little over six years ago – the day he leaned over the crib to pick up his newborn only to find a lifeless body.  The memory still felt so fresh – when was it supposed to get easier?

Granted, he was now able to laugh again, to feel again. The doubts and regrets didn’t consume his every waking moment.  Maybe that’s what they meant about time healing, because if they meant the pain would go away – they were wrong.

He felt his wife squeeze his hand.  He willed his thoughts back to the present.  He knew he needed to be more present for her sake and the sake of his two living children.  How as she able to move on? How he wished he could open his chest and show her his heart. Then she would understand.

He wiped the tears that was sliding down his cheek and suggested they stop at the corner shop for an ice cream cone.

Women’s Perspective

She saw the woman out of the corner of her eye. As they got closer she saw the red yarn and noticed the stiffening of her husband’s body. The familiar agitation began to rise in her. When would he be able to leave the past in the past and move on?  Sure, it was awful. She of all people should know.  She had spent her share of time asking God why. She had searched her mind for anything they could have done to prevent it.  Even when the doctors assured them they had done nothing wrong.

She had chosen to move on, to live in the present. Nothing could bring Donny back. Why dwell on what was? They had been blessed with so much now. They had two beautiful girls. Everyone was healthy.  The both had good jobs. If only her husband could see that.

She gently squeezed her husband’s hand, more as a warning than anything else.  She didn’t know how much longer she could deal with his drama.  At his suggestion of ice cream she felt her body relax.  Maybe he was ready to put the past in the past and move on after all.  She sure hoped so.

Old Woman’s Perspective

Feeling the yarn between her fingers and the sun warm her back delighted her soul. After the long winter and endless sickness, it felt wonderful to be outdoors again.  The news of the coming baby was icing on the cake.  How she loved the fresh, innocent smell of a new baby.  How many sweaters had she knitted over the years?  “How many more would she be able to knit?” She thought as she glanced down at her gnarled hands.

Out of the corner of her eye she spotted a couple, hand-in-hand approaching.  Her eyes filled with tears, unexpectedly.  How she missed Henry. Walking used to be one of their favorite activities.  She remembered how he always seemed to strike up conversation with those passing by.  How many cups had she washed over the years from Henry inviting those generations younger home for a cup of coffee. She wished she were that bold.

If Henry were here he would say something to the couple approaching her bench.  As she looked up she saw pain in both faces.  “Oh Jesus,” She silently prayed, “Please comfort this couple with your love.  Show them healing. Help them find love and joy that can only be found in you.”  She watched, with regret at a moment lost, as the backs of the couple turn the corner and head towards the ice cream store.

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2 Comments on "The Red Sweater"

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kellygriffiths
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Wow! Usually I just hit “like,” but this called for a comment. LOVE how you made the woman ironic on several levels.

Nancy Beach
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Thanks, Kelly!

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