Unlike their typical strolls through the park, today Charles and Lauren were on a mission. After 9 months of patiently waiting, their first child was due to be born any day.
Like most pregnant mothers, Lauren could not wait to deliver. She was uncomfortable and physically exhausted, so taking the advice from others, she decided to walk herself into labor. “If I can keep up a good pace, I’ll have this baby in no time!”
Charles held tightly onto her hand, and thought of her parents who were coming into town the next morning. A bit of jealousy rose up in him. “I’m happy that we have her parents to support us, but I sure wish mine could be here too.”
Charles was the only child, having come into the world when his parents were just a year shy of turning 40. His father passed away 2 years ago from a sudden illness, and he had no idea where his mother was. The last time he saw her, he was 5 and she was running out of the house with her suitcase in tow. Rumor had it that she had moved across the country, but he was never given a clear answer as to why she left.
Hearing them come down the sidewalk, an old woman who was sitting on a nearby bench looked up at them. Since sunrise, she had been there knitting a small red sweater for her first grand-baby. She was almost done but had no time to waste, because the baby would arrive any day.
When the couple passed her on the bench, she noticed the woman’s large pregnant belly and called out to her.
“My dear! It looks like you will have that child at any moment.”
“Oh yes ma’am, and I am ready!”
Charles laughed and nodded in agreement. He looked down and saw the sweater that the old woman was knitting. Tears filled his eyes as he thought back to the small keepsake box he had tucked away in his closet. When his mother left, he kept a couple of items that would always remind him of her. One of them was a sweater she had knit for him when he was a baby, only his was blue.
“What a special time. It this your first?” the old woman asked.
With a big smile, Charles jumped in. “Yes ma’am. A little girl.”
“Wonderful! Babies are such fun. This sweater here is for my first grand-baby, to keep her warm during the upcoming winter.”
“How sweet,” Lauren said before taking a deep breath. Hunching over, she looked up at Charles. “Honey, I think it’s time.”
The old woman stood to her feet with excitement, nearly dropping the sweater to the ground. “How exciting! Ya’ll better hurry. Oh, and have fun with that baby!”
Waving goodbye to the old woman, Charles took Lauren’s hand and with urgency led her out of the park. Living in the city meant that everything was within walking distance, including the hospital which was only 5 minutes away.
The old woman watched as the couple disappeared from sight. With a happy sigh, she went back to knitting. A few more stitches and she was done. She stood to her feet, grabbed her large purse and made her way out of the park.
With only a short walk around the block, she arrived at her son’s home. She folded the little red sweater and carefully placed it into a small white box. Then reaching into her purse, she took out a note that she had written the night before, and secured it to the box with a bright red ribbon.
Before setting it down, she looked up at the door. Her eyes welled up with tears as memories flashed through her mind. With a deep breath she walked away, leaving the box and the little red sweater on the doorstep.
The note read:
Please forgive me for leaving all those years ago. I have missed the last 27 years of your life, but would like a chance to make things right. Please accept this gift, handmade with love for your new baby girl. Please call me. There is so much that I need to explain to you.
Lots of love,
This post is for today’s Writing 101 assignment hosted by The Daily Post.
Assignment: 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.