Changing Moccasins

summer

The sky was blue. The kind of blue that reminds you of kites and ice creams. Of all things gloriously summer. It was the first weekend after a brutal winter and a wet spring. The park was crowded. I was meeting my girlfriend for the first time after something about our relationship shifted inside of me. I felt surer. I dreamt of her in the future cradling my child. I woke up with a start expecting I would feel fear. Or anger. Or anxiety. Instead I felt relief. And a strange kind of joy. Mixed with it were images from a long forgotten past. A past that had haunted me for four years now. A summer romance. A child I had refused to acknowledge. A mistake I had since come to regret.

I woke up to a beautiful summer day. I lay in bed snuggling against my pillow and listening to the radio playing Happy. It was that kind of day. I threw back the covers and slid out of bed with a spring in my step. I was meeting him after weeks. We had known each other for a while now. First as acquaintances bound by mutual friends. Then by a taste in music and books that complemented each other. What had started out as occasional run ins at the coffee shop soon became dates. The kind after which you fall asleep with a smile on your lips. His eyes had a candor that was refreshing. Yet, there was a shadow of something that lurked in those grey pools of his irises that I could not put my finger on. We were comfortable with each other but I am not sure where this relationship is heading. Perhaps, we should be having those conversations. The park looked crowded. I scanned the parking lot for his telltale grey Prius and a smile broke out on my face as I spied him walking towards me.

I sat on the bench watching people go past me all morning. My fingers knitted as if on auto pilot. The sweater was almost done. It was the color of blood. Perhaps that is what was on my mind when I picked out the yarn? My only grandson. A child I had not known existed till this week. A child who was born this day four years ago. My daughter who had left home at eighteen never to return. It hit me in waves. I had failed my daughter. I had lost her to my ego and temper. A tear escaped my eye as I continued to knit. This child was my chance at redemption. I could be a grandma from afar. Couldn’t I?

We walked hand in hand. Our linked fingers cementing something that words failed to do. We talked about the weeks in between. We talked of work. Of family. Of my sister who was more of a mother to me. Of my nephew who was adopted. One who turned four today. On impulse I asked him to join me for his birthday fully expecting him to excuse himself. Instead he nodded, curious to know where he was born. His eyes clouded over when he heard the city. He seemed distant all of a sudden.

I saw the couple walk towards me. Something about them caught my attention. They seemed older, surer of their place under the sun. They were deep in conversation. I saw the man’s eyes take me in, pass over, come back and rest on the sweater I was knitting. His pace slowed. His eyes caught mine. A strange pull forced me to look away. Just as I turned away, I saw a tear roll down his eyes.


This is my entry to day nine of Writing 101 at The Daily Post

 

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