Writing 101, Day Nine: Changing Moccasins — Point of View
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.
Feeling his side pockets to be sure it was there; a simple 18 carat diamond piece. “Today is the day,” he mutters and tugs his jacket closer to himself, while clamping onto her hand…so warmly yet a tad too tightly. “Too much has slipped through my hands in my bid to make my life better; I’m not letting Susan go. And if going for another bout of rehabilitation just to keep us together, I am willing.” With these thoughts running through his mind, he looks up to meet her gazing straight into his face with concern burrowing into her face. Mark smiled at her.
Then he saw it…letting go of her hand suddenly, a memory replays.
That fine sunny morning, Venus had pleaded that they go to the beach. “The holiday by the seaside is no fun, if your feet are not in the sand or the shoreline.” She preached like she did every morning.
“Honey, you know I don’t enjoy the water like you, I’ve got a phobia for it and it is called Aqua phobia” they both chorused and laughed at each other. But he loved her too much to let that silly fear he brought upon himself stand in the way of their fun.
At the beach, she did all the swimming, while he watched and read. One of the times he looked up, he saw a child by the edge of the shore and before he could gather his thoughts, she was gone – swept further into the sea by the rushing tide. Venus saw it too and jumped back into the sea against the strong currents she swam but it took both she and the child in Red sweater away.
He wailed like he always did whenever he saw a Red sweater. And he hadn’t told Susan about his past relationship and loss yet.
Susan was shocked at the sudden show of outburst and change in emotion Mark displayed; from a smile to wailing bitterly. What could have brought this on she questioned with her looks as she reached out to touch him and bring him out of that place he had journeyed.
“Is there something you would like to share with me?” she enquired. She had heard in the neighbourhood some tales but Mark never spoke about anything that had to do with his past.
Probably that’s his long lost mum; and she started at the old lady with silver-coloured hair. Maybe he remembers his Red sweater from childhood. “People can be funny you know crying over all manner of silly things,” she mused to herself.
As she had always done for the past 20 years, ever since Richie left home for some foreign missions in Liberia. Seated amidst all the lush green, with trees swaying to the music in the wind; she whistled softly to herself a joyful tune. One of the tunes she used to sing as he lay weary from work at the Railway Station. Occasionally, she sighs as she remembers how he would turn and mutter in his sleep about the untidiness of some of the coaches, but then there wasn’t much he could do about it. That manager just won’t listen! “I should change my job”, he thought to himself in dreamland and suddenly, he hears her sweet voice calling him back from that place of despair. He returns to the land of sweet dreams and succumbs to peaceful sleep though his body racked with pain.
Today on her favourite bench in the park, (the one positioned nearer to the flowing stream paved with interlocked stones) made of cold steel, a reminder of the harshness of the world round about her in the midst of such beauty. She knits the Red sweater slowly. “I wonder how many more of these I would have to knit before he comes home”, she soliloquizes, “perhaps they would come with him.”
© Frances Kelvin Otung June 2014. All rights reserved.