Sometimes I am sad and crying through the words is my therapy.
Every town has that one place where you can sit and watch the world walk by in a day. In New York, it’s Central Park, and in Las Vegas, it’s the strip. I’m a people watcher who loves to figure out another person’s life without even speaking to them. I guess making my own stories are so much easier and less painful than the real ones. Well, until today. Today I wrote the saddest story ever told.
Across the lawn on the old tattered bench is the first place that I saw her. She was alone, but as the days went by, I noticed that she’s always alone. Could it be that she has no one to call her own? No, in my mind, she has a million people around her, but the one that escaped her is the one she wants the most. Maybe it was the sorrow in her eyes, or it could be the ring she twisted on her finger as she looked at young hearts frolicking on the swings. The sound of laughter radiated through the park as a perfect summer melody. Free from all the pain and suffering, children are the beginning of a garden that will flourish into a meadow of the most beautiful memories when watered.
Who is she? Does she know that I’m watching her right now and painting her life on my own canvas? I hope that I can do her justice.
As she sat on the bench taking in the first days of summer, that old ring on her finger always giving her a little relief from the pain that filled her head. Twisting the band, it wasn’t as tight as it was last year. Maybe she should take it off and place it in the old box by her bedside—the one where the match sat for years now. No, not today. After all these years, she still isn’t ready to close the doors on the past. She exhaled soft, her hands pushing down the dress she wore, making sure the fabric remained free of wrinkles.
I leaned back, never looking away from the woman. I don’t know her name, but does that matter? She could be a mother, daughter, sister, or friend, but most of all, she was lost. She misses her husband. Yes, that’s why she feels so alone.
Slowly, she opened her purse to bring out a tattered old photograph. It’s the image of a couple on their wedding day. She held his hand, and he kept all her hopes and dreams. When they are fifty, they will sit on the porch and watch the grandchildren play. Or maybe, he will share the bench with her and hold her hand as he did on their wedding day. Bringing the picture to her chest, she held it close to her heart. That image and the ring on her finger were the last memories of a life taken too soon.
A single tear rolled down my face as I watched this woman and realized what a gift she gave me by allowing me to peek into her world. My heart aches for her, and as the imaginary brush paints her soul, I knew she was coming to the end of her season. I closed my eyes tight and imagined her husband sitting next to her once again. Both are laughing as they watched the children play. An ice cream vendor in the background with whimsical music playing. Funny how every child in the park ran for that sweet summer treat. As I slowly opened my eyes, she was gone. Did he take her home? Or did she wander away to give another soul a chance to paint their masterpiece?
The one thing I learned today was that this woman is me. She is lost and alone in a world that bases ones worth on how many treasures one holds in their heart. I have never felt so empty as I feel today.