Thursday 12th June 2014.
Day 9. The Bench the Old Woman the Couple.
Gaa/C June 2014
The park was busy today, with people exercising their dogs, people basking in the sun, mothers with their children. The young couple hand in hand very much in love were casually strolling the path through the centre of the park. The sun was burning their backs, the sun was out with a vengeance after several days of rain and wind this was a blessing.
The young woman noticed and pointed out an old woman sitting on a bench, what made her stand out was that she was wearing a heavy coat and knitting. The young woman thought how she must be very hot with that coat on, and as the couple came upon the old woman the young woman asked, “Excuse me, what is that you are knitting?” The young man was a little uncomfortable with his girlfriend being friendly, he tried to pull her away. She held firm.
“A sweater for my grandson” the old woman said looking at the young man. “Come sit with me for awhile luv I like to talk.” she continued.
“Love to thank you madam.” as the young woman said this her boyfriend tugged her, “No come on lets move on.” he whispered not trying to offend the old woman. When the young woman looked at him she could see tears in his eyes.
“What is the matter, are you okay?”
“I’m okay, she just reminds me of my mum, and especially the red sweater.” he said. He then sat on the grass to one side of the bench and old woman, while his girlfriend sat next to the old woman.
“It is alright luv I remind him of his mother, who died peacefully at their home and she had an unfinished red jumper on her lap. I expect that I even look like her.” All the time the old woman continued knitting and not once did she look at the young woman.
“But how do you know, we have never seen you before?” asked the young woman.
“My luv I know what I know when I need to know. Why do you think he is tearful.” the young woman looked at her boyfriend who indeed still tearful.
He was thinking who is this woman, she looks just like my mother and why is she here for us to see. An old woman sitting alone on a park bench this is not normal. “What do you want?” He asked loudly and rudely.
The old woman responded to him, “I want nothing but to finish my little red sweater so I can give it to my grandson in time for his birthday.” she said in rather croaky voice.
The young man then thought back to the time he found his mother, she had been knitting a red sweater for his brothers son, her grandson, but she never finished it. She passed away quietly in her chair.
“You are not real, you should not be here,” he shouted back getting more emotional.
“He doesn’t mean it, he is a kind and generous man but is remembering his mother.” the young woman spoke quietly. “I have been through his mother’s death with him, they were very close, it hurt him and affected him more than expected. His brother stood by him but he continues to remember, many things make him remember.”
“He is being human, he is what he is, his mother is looking over and caring for him, he will see this one day soon.” the old woman still knitting away, not once has she looked up. The young woman was now getting a little scared, a strange old woman telling her things that she should not know. It was time to go as her boyfriend was now very agitated. “Its been nice meeting you but we must go.”
“Remember I will see you both soon, goodbye my dear.” she now looked up and held out her bony hand. The young woman shook it, it was cold, like ice, so she let go quickly. Her boyfriend was up and had started walking away, his rudeness went above her, and she hurried to catch him up.
“She is not real, she should not be here.” the young man said.
“Don’t be silly, she is just a weird sad old lady.”
They both looked back to the bench and there was no old woman, she was nowhere to be seen. But the young man noticed something on the bench and he ran back and picked it up. It was the red sweater, now finished.
Gaa/C© Thursday 12th June 2014.