The Writing 101 prompt that I am using as inspiration today is an interesting one. It involves writing a scene based on a provided paragraph. The twist is to write it from three different points of view.
It’s a fine day. The sun warms my back and the clicking of my knitting needles is a soothing sound. A couple are walking along the path towards me, holding hands. They both seem lost in their thoughts.
I pause for a moment to count stitches. I’ve been knitting for so many years now that I can let my mind wander without fear of messing up, but I like to check now and then.
I smile to myself. This wool really is lovely. It is a vibrant, fiery shade of red. I must admit I was annoyed at first when my granddaughter said they wanted the baby’s gender to be a surprise. I wanted to know right away. I’d knitted cardigans for all my children and grandchildren when they were babies – pink for the girls and blue for the boys. I wanted to continue the tradition, of course.
It has worked out well enough though. This lovely red will do no matter what the baby is born as. So long as it’s healthy I’ll be happy. My first great-grandchild!
I hold the cardigan up to the sunlight, shaking it slightly and looking it over with my well-trained eye. It shouldn’t take me much longer to finish it.
A noise to my right distracts me from my thoughts. A sob. I look around. The couple I had noticed earlier have stopped beside me. The man is crying.
I don’t know what to say to him, so I stay silent. I’m not sure why I suggested we go for a walk. Perhaps I thought the oppressive feeling was in the house. I was wrong about that – it’s still with us as we walk.
I notice the dappled patterns the light makes on the path as it shines through the leaves of the tree. They’re quite mesmerising and I want to point them out to him, but one look at his face and I stop talking before I’ve even begun. I hold his hand tighter in mine, wishing I knew what to do.
I didn’t even know he’d had a daughter. I was hurt, initially, that he hadn’t told me. I thought our relationship was stronger than that. I thought we shared everything. I wanted to get angry and rail at him.
But then I saw how broken he looked. I bit my tongue and I listened to what he had to say. And I understood. I understood why he hadn’t told me. Why he’d kept it all inside. The hurt I feel now is not because he’d kept such a big secret from me, but because I share his pain.
There’s an elderly woman sitting on a bench just ahead of us. She’s knitting what looks like a cardigan for a baby. It’s an interesting colour. Bold and bright. It makes a nice change for a baby item not to be pastel.
I realise with a start that he’s not holding my hand. Turning I realise that he has stopped a few steps behind me. He too has noticed the red cardigan. He is crying.
She hasn’t really said anything since I told her. At first I thought she was going to yell at me for keeping it a secret. I explained myself in a rush. I knew if I stopped to let her shout I wouldn’t be able to get up the courage to tell her. And then she suggested we go for a walk.
Any other day I would have enjoyed the walk, but not today. Today the memories overwhelm me. Memories of her. My Lucy.
I can hear her laugh. I always loved to hear her laugh. It was such a cheeky and mischievous sound. I remember hearing it from inside my wardrobe one morning as I was getting myself ready for work. She’d hidden away to surprise me. I pretended not to know she was there as I opened the door, and she launched herself at me, laughing.
It was only a week later that it happened. Most of it’s a blur. All I remember is flashes. Moments and sensations, nothing connected. One moment she was telling me something her teacher had said, and the next there was an explosion of noise. Then silence. Utter silence.
I remember feeling like I couldn’t move. The side of my head was wet. The air tasted of petrol and I could smell the coppery tang of blood. I tried to call her name. It felt as though it took a lifetime to turn my head. To see her. And when I did…
No, I will not think of that. Even now it is still too raw. I know that no matter how many years pass I will still feel this pain.
I try to think of something else. In my mind’s eye I can see her at the park, swinging on the swings. Her long hair bouncing. She always loved the swings. Even after she fell off them that time and got a hole in her favourite cardigan. She was so upset by it. I tried five different shops before I found thread to fix it. Nowhere seemed to have just the right shade of-
I freeze. A flash of red. Part of me dares to hope. I turn and look.
An old woman sits on a bench admiring her knitting. It’s the same shade of red that Lucy loved so much. My heart breaks. I know she will never come back to me. I feel like I am losing her all over again.
I am crying.
What do you think? The third part ended up being quite long… I thought it was quite fun to play around with the different points of view. I’m sure with more time I would tweak it a bit, but I got distracted and have left this post quite late, so this will have to do!