It was beginning to get dark, the sky splashed with the colours of dusk. Orange, Pink, Purple, all swirled together to the music of chirping crickets as they slowly exited the scene. The branches of the trees were beginning to bow down under the weight of the birds returning home. Yet children played on, their laughter echoing in an attempt to drown out their mothers’ instructions to return home.
On a bench hidden from the rest of the park sat a silent observer. Secure in the knowledge that she could neither be seen nor heard, Ria let the tears flow. A broken heart beats a thousand words; and Ria’s heart was screaming. Broken by the knowledge that she could neither be seen nor heard, she let a few more tears flow.
Ria’s brain felt cluttered. Memories new and old twisted together as she watched the park live on without her. She watched the children play on the same monkey bars she had fallen off, she watched them climb the same tree under which she had shared her first kiss, she watched joggers stop under the same shed under which he had asked to marry her.
Yes, the park lived on, but Ria’s heart had frozen ice-cold. She had not let it beat since the day he had chosen to leave her behind. All because her family had refused to buy his parents a new car? Was that all she was worth? Was that all her love was worth? A car?
Love? Right. What was love? Just a mix of chemicals inside her. She had let it go on for too long anyway. Love was a hoax. True love did not exist. She wrapped her arms around herself and reminded each little teardrop this vital fact.
Ria suddenly shivered and looked up. A cold night had already fallen, the stars twinkling at her obnoxiously. She stood up and dusted herself off. It was time to go home. She trudged down the well-worn path, letting her feet lead her on. Lost in thought, it took her a second to realise that they had traitorously stopped. Looking up, she realised that she had stopped a small distance from an old couple. They were probably also heading home. Not really in the mood for a chat, Ria held back. Strangely, the old couple stopped too. Grandma appeared to have gotten tired and had chosen to sit down on a bench nearby.
Ria scoffed at herself, “I wonder how much grandma’s parents had to pay grandpa to get her married back then.” she thought. She followed grandma’s eyes, watching granda waddle a distance away.
“True love, my ass,” she mummered to herself, “Grandpa cannot even wait while grandma catches her breath.”
Ria was about to turn away, deciding to take another route home when suddenly, grandpa turned around. He began hobbling back towards grandma. When he reached the bench he smiled; a true smile that made his eyes twinkle with devotion. Slowly he reached up towards grandma. When he drew his hand back, Ria saw it clearly, a small red flower was nestled in her grey hair.
Ria stood rooted to the spot, long after the old couple had faded into the distance. The silence around her was heavy. She blinked, her gaze drifting towards the stars that just moments earlier, had offended her. She blinked again, finally letting herself acknowledge the warmth that was washing over her heart.
A warmth that felt both familiar and new, a warmth that drew the stars away from the sky and back into her eyes: Hope.
Life is hard for those who hunger for hope. “Hope” was the word given to me by Rucha and I just decided to write a feel-better piece. I hope all my readers enjoyed reading this as much as I loved writing.
Thank you for sticking around and also for the support and encouragement I’ve been receiving. Please do keep giving me your feedback. 🙂