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.
Consider a car/pedestrian accident: the story differs depending on whether you’re the driver, the pedestrian, or the woman across the street who witnessed the horror. Everyone will tell a different story if asked to recount the event.
The Man and His Story
This is a day I will never forget. I was having a walk with my wife in the park. As never. I hate going to the park. How on earth she persuaded me to go there, I have no idea. I guess because the alternative to this was shopping, which I hate even more. I must have been in a good mood, as she even got to hold my hand. It has been years since we did this. She no longer loves me, so what’s the point in pretending. I’ve never liked holding hands, either.
Anyway. Both of us were thinking about our own things. Then I saw this woman. Not sure if she recognised me at all, so I could have just walked away. It has been so many years since I hit her husband. He was crossing the road and, finding his way between the cars parked by the side of the road, he must have overlooked the sight of my car coming. I didn’t see him either.
If there is one time in my life when I felt guilty, that was that moment. I am a good driver! But… you cannot turn back time, can you, what’s been done, has been done. I vaguely remember the visit I paid him and his wife on the following day, after the police interview was out of the way. He was OK about it. A bit shaken, but OK. What I do remember, though, is his face. And his wife’s. She was staring at me, not saying a word.
I don’t know why, but that day in the park I started crying. Even if I had decided to just pass by, this was now impossible. She noticed me. Of course she would. A 6’5″ man crying like a baby. How embarrassing. But, then, what happened all those years ago must have shaken me, too, I guess.
We had a good chat, she is a lovely old lady. I guess that gave me the closure I needed. I will no longer see nightmares about that day. Or at least I hope I won’t.
The Woman and Her Story
I can’t believe what happened the other day! You won’t believe it either!! He cried!!! I know!! My husband!!!
We were having a lovely day out in the park. I was so looking forward to having some fresh air. We don’t get to have a walk too often, as he is always so busy. He is not particularly romantic, either. That day he must have been, though, as we held our hands. Awww, so sweet, isn’t it, I know! We’ve been together for about 15 years, you know, so the spark must still be there!
I don’t know how and why, but suddenly he stopped, as if in shock. He was looking away from me, but when I turned towards him, I could see tears in his eyes.
I was stunned. I had never seen him cry. Not even when I had my accident and turned the car over. He was worried, I can’t deny that, must mostly he was annoyed at me – big time, as he loved that car. We never forgave me that. That small Citroen ZX Volcane. I don’t know much about cars, but that particular model apparently was so great, it was his pride and joy – and I wrote it off. Ooohh, sorry, I forgot what I was on about. Ah, yes, he started crying. Then an old lady got up from the bench nearby, carefully putting away the red jumper she was knitting, and asked him if he was OK. He sat next to her and they talked for what seemed ages. He completely ignored me. How rude, I know! What was that about?? I’ve never seen this woman in my life. Or if I have, I don’t remember her at all.
He wouldn’t say a word for hours. Eventually when I got him to talk, I realised this was the wife of that man he hit many years ago. That was the only time when I had seen him lost and vulnerable. I know! It is my husband we are talking about! I had always thought he was made of rock. I’ll never forget that day when we went to visit the ‘victim’. My husband was just sat there, staring at that man, blankly and helplessly. I’ve never seen him like that again. Ever. He has always been a confident man. You know what he’s like, don’t you. How weird. It seems like anything to do with that accident stirs his emotions – which doesn’t happen with anything else. Perhaps it is the guilt? You reckon? ‘Cos I do. Awwww… My poor man. I gave him a big hug, and he just pushed me away. Why??!
Well, that’s men for you.
The Old Woman and Her Story
Do you know, dear, who I saw in the park today? Do you remember what he looks like, as I didn’t…? That one time when a young man hit you with his car in front of the Post Office? Yes? You remember his face? Of course you would, dear.
… Well, I saw him in the park with his wife. Shall I say, he saw me, as I was miles away. This red jumper is turning out sooo nice, will be perfect for Amelia for Christmas. She is a sweetheart, isn’t she. Granny’s sweetheart. So, yes, I was minding my own business but then I felt someone staring at me. This young man was stood by and seemed to be in tears. I didn’t know who he was, so he had to remind me. Poor man, isn’t that sweet! I assured him it was all OK and we had long forgiven him. It did take a little way to calm him down, but isn’t it sweet. Nice man, he was. I gave him our landline number, hope you don’t mind, dear, do you? Would be nice to have a cup of tea with them some day. Good, you don’t mind either. No hard feelings. He is ever so young, life goes on. It was a shock to us, I remember how furious I was. But it wasn’t just his fault, dear, was it, as you weren’t quite paying attention either, were you.
OK, dear, tea is ready, now tell me how your day has been. These are lovely biscuits, do help yourself.