Writing 101, Day Nine: 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.
So, the universe has made itself clear to me. Any ideas on motherhood shall cease to exist from now on. I am barren. I can’t have babies. Nada. What does it say about me if I’m mostly relieved? I mean, yeah, obviously a small part of me will mourn the loss of the option. Oh my god. Am I hearing myself? I sound like the Ice Queen. Jesus. I should probably blame Him. He made me this way, didn’t He? It isn’t my fault that I’m innately ambitious, career-wise. Is it my fault that I have the motherhood instincts of a toothpick? Trust me, I nearly murdered my sister’s kids with my bare hands the last time I spent the day at her place.
My train of thought dissipate as I feel a tug. The body connected to the hand I was holding had decidedly stopped at his track. I look at him with a mixture of petulance and curiosity. He does not look away from a figure on the bench. His eyes moisten with tears. His teeth chatter slightly as his jaw twitches involuntarily.
I glance at that direction to find a frail old lady knitting. Probably a vagrant, by the looks of her. Then, I realise what had caught his emotions- the tiny red sweater she was knitting. I knew I should have went for the appointment alone. I didn’t even consider his plausible reaction to never having children. Damn. I have to talk to him about this when we get home.
There’s something that I’m missing today. I just can’t seem to lay a finger on it. Come on Zac, think! Is it work-related? Is there a client I’m supposed to be meeting? Today just isn’t your day, is it Zac? What did you do to piss off the lord almighty?
I sigh as I break myself out of my consciousness. I have not been able to concentrate since the day started. I’m forgetting something, and I just cannot help but be distracted by it. I finally notice my surroundings. The lush greenery of the park. The beautiful woman connected to me by her limb. The overly enthusiastic and mostly annoying children competing with the sounds of the birds. The poor old lady sitting by her lonesome self on the rustic bench.
And then it clicks.
Pain sears through me. How could I have forgotten? It’s only been three years, and I’ve already forgotten her; my grandmama. Today marks the third anniversary of the worst day of my life. I should be with her right now, lilies in hand.
Here I am, just enjoying a pleasant afternoon at my usual spot. I bask in the warm rays of the sun. The barely audible sounds of nature keep me company as I do what I do best; knitting. Not to brag, but I have been showered with compliments for my fine artistry. Yes, I am an artisan. The sweaters I knit have been supporting me in my old age; something my unfilial kid should be doing instead.
I call it my sixth sense -when you just know that a person is looking directly at you. I look up at the intrusion of my privacy. This kid looks at me sadly. Pity. I hate it when people do that. Oh look at this poor old woman, all alone in this vast plane of the universe. They can shove it, if you asked me. I don’t need your sympathy and you should honestly consider minding your own goddamn business.
“Oi, what you looking at boy!” I snap at him.
When you get to be my age, you don’t take shit from anyone.