a walk in the park

April 16, 2015 § 7 Comments

couple park

“I was really hoping you wouldn’t accept the job, Darlene. It’s so far away–I hate the thought of being that far from you.” Eric gingerly took her hand and they continue walking. It was a beautiful fall day in Michigan, the park showing off an assortment of trees. Massive trees wearing vivid costumes of red and orange. The breeze was active enough to cause Darlene’s bangs to separate from her forehead. She anxiously kept pulling them back in place.

“It’s time for me to move on, Eric.”

He felt tears producing in his eyes. He hated that weakness. Why was he born with this sensitivity that most men could suppress. He kept his head down, fixating on the weeds in the path. This park was his favorite place and that’s why he loved to bring Darlene here. It represented all he loved about Michigan–the trees, the water, the peacefulness.

He wanted to leave Theresa, his wife of twenty years. He just didn’t know how to go about it. They were so young when they married. They started dating as seniors in high school and their courtship continued at the University of Michigan. Now two decades have passed– they have two teenage daughters, a german shepherd and a four-bedroom colonial in the suburbs. What more could he want? He wanted Darlene. He didn’t mean to find her, she just showed up one day. At work.

Suppressing the tears caused the back of his throat to twist up and he could no longer speak or swallow. He kept walking along quietly just as he has done for the past 20 years.

“My God I can’t wait to be back in Phoenix.” thought Darlene. Eric didn’t seem to want to talk. Not knowing anybody in Michigan, it was nice to have him to keep her company even if it was just one day a week. The cold breeze in the park was causing her hair to blow around, she hated that. She hated everything about Michigan.Two years was enough.

The elderly lady on the bench hardly looked at the couple as they approached. She fumbled with the  makings of a red sweater between two knitting needles, mumbling to herself quietly. As Eric and Darlene passed, she watched their silhouettes diminish into tiny doll size figures. She had been at the park for quite a while, it was time to leave. With a quick tug, she pulled the ratty gray wig from her head, stuffing it in her tote bag, along with the red knitted mess. “I knew he was having an affair,” Theresa said in a growling demonic voice even she didn’t recognize.

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