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
As me and Mary ambled through the stony path in the park, me trying to hold her hand, and she trying to avoid it – I wished my mind was as blissful as the surroundings. The grass was greener than ever, cherry blossoms bloomed in the neatly lined trees along the path, young couples sauntered through the trees – hand in hand, old women knitted sweaters seated on the park bench, and little children merrily played next to the pond – it was the quintessential beautiful day. For everyone except us, that is.
Why couldn’t today have been gloomy?
“I think we need to rethink this,” Mary mumbles. I guess her throat was tired from all the yelling.
I blink my eyes at her. “Rethink this?” I say. “What do you mean?”
She stops walking and looks away. “Don’t you see? This is obviously not working out for us. Two years in, and all we do everyday is fight. I don’t want this to be a struggle, John.”
Her face was stark, for the first time ever I did not sense any emotion in those blue eyes. A small breeze passes us, and a few strands of hair fall on her face covering her up the left eye. I reach out to set it right, like I always do, but she shrugs my hand away and does it herself.
“Are you really-” I begin to say.
“yes I am-”
“-asking for a divorce?”
She nods her head looking at the grass. The elephant in the room was finally out.
No, no, no. This can’t be happening to me. Please God, no!
Tears start to well up in my eyes.
I’m sorry, John! I’m so very sorry I am going to have to do this to you. I wish there were a better solution to all this but I don’t see it. My heart aches when I think of all the times I’ve caused you trouble, for all the times I pointed fingers at you, and for all the times I fought with you over nothing. Truth is, I changed, John. Irrevocably. But you stayed the same. You are the same sweet person I fell in love with. And I hate seeing you in pain.
But you are clever, aren’t you?
You realized that I wanted a divorce, even before I say it saving me the agony of spelling it out loud. I love you, John, and that’s why I have to leave you.
“DON’T DO IT!!” comes a shrill voice from behind, startling us. We turn around and find an old woman, with a half knitted sweater in her hands.
“I’m sorry,” I say, confused. “Don’t do what?”
“You both should not get a divorce! Trust me, you will regret it later,” She says, shaking her fingers at me vigorously.
Who the hell is this woman?
I sit at my usual spot in the park. It’s been so many years and yet I still remember that dreadful day very vividly. It happened near this very same cherry tree, the one that’s shorter than the rest. The one I broke down under after John left me in disbelief.
And then lo, here they come!! John and myself. It’s surreal indeed, looking at a walking-talking younger version of yourself. My mind flashes back to that day, no TODAY! I’m here now in the past! Today is going to change mine and John’s life forever! It’s going to happen anytime now. They’ve already stopped walking. Quick, do what you came here to do!!
I storm towards them and even before completely getting close, I yell out, “DON’T DO IT!!”
“I’m sorry, don’t do what?” Mary says with a bewildered expression.
“You both should not get a divorce! Trust me, you will regret it later,” I say firmly. John still had tears in his eyes and was just noticing me. Oh, sweet, sweet John.
“Ummm, that’s really between me and my husband, but thanks. Shall I help you to your bench?” Mary offers. How very typical of me!
“No! You don’t understand. IT’S ME!!”
“I’m sorry, old lady,” John cuts in. “Could you please leave us alone?”
“IT’S ME!!” I say again. Looking at the expression on their face, they still haven’t figured out. Ah, who was I kidding!
“I AM YOU!” I say to Mary finally. “I’m coming from the future!”
She gives out a shrill laugh. Of course she is not going to believe, but I have to say what I wanted to say. My two hours are almost up.
“OK, please listen you both,” I press on. “Mary, I know what’s going on in your mind right now. You might think that you are doing John a big favor but you are not! Trust me, I’ve seen him crumble and destroy himself through the years. He never remarries and dies alone.” John widened his eyes, but I had to say the truth. “And you Mary, are never going to find a man like him again. I have blamed myself for this very day all my life.”
Mary was shaking her head in disbelief. And then she comes up to me and puts a hand on my shoulder, caressing my face with her other hand.
“You really are me!! But how?? How is this even possible? How old are you now- ”
I check my watch. My time’s up. “I’ll vanish any moment now, but promise me! Promise me that you two will stay together!!” But I don’t get to hear their reply. My two hours are up and I whoosh back to 2064 again.
As I enter my bedroom, I find John snoring peacefully on the bed. Shriveled, but very much my John! I DID IT!!