Mary was devastated that her knit and natter group had been cancelled this morning. She enjoyed the social occasion and it was the perfect excuse to do some knitting whilst having a chat over a cup of tea with the other members. The sun was shining and her husband was busy painting the living room so she decided to take her knitting and visit the park.
When she arrived she sat on the bench closest to the lake so she could watch the ducks. There were always so many of them during the warmer months on the lake and she couldn’t wait to bring her grand-daughter down to feed them. She would be seeing her daughter at the end of the week and she was eager to have finished the red spring cardigan she was knitting for Izzy, her grand-daughter. She pulled the large ball of red wool out of her bag along with her knitting needles and set to work.
Mary hadn’t been sitting on the bench long when she noticed a couple who had just turned onto the path. The man seemed distressed and angry and was crying. He kept pointing at her and the woman was looking in her direction. She tried to ignore them but she could sense his anger and with very few people about it worried her so much that she decided to leave the park and head home and so she quickly stuffed her knitting away, grabbed her bag and left.
David enjoyed the walks round the park with Trudi. They went every Wednesday at 10.30am, Trudi would meet him at his house. He loved to look at the plants and enjoyed watching the park change colour with each season, the lake was his favourite part and they would always walk right round it. There were never many people at the park during the mornings so it was the perfect time to go.
This morning was just as every other morning. He held Trudi’s hand as they walked into the park and he pointed out the buds that were appearing on the trees and noticed the daffodils and pansies that were growing in the flower beds. They were just joining the path to start walking around the lake and as they turned the corner David stopped walking. He looked ahead and noticed an elderly woman sat on his bench.
“She is sat in my seat. Why is she sat in my seat. That is my seat.” He was pointing at the lady to make sure Trudi could see her. Trudi looked to where he was pointing and then responded.
“It’s OK, Let’s walk around the lake and then maybe we can sit down after.”
“No! We always sit down first and watch the ducks and we always sit on that seat!” David felt lost and didn’t know what to do, he couldn’t stop the tears. It was all going wrong, this wasn’t how it was meant to be.
Then he noticed that the lady was packing her things away and she got up and left.
Trudi made her way to David’s house as she did every Wednesday morning to join him for a walk around the park. She had been running late as she had to fill the car with petrol first and was glad that she made it just in time, David didn’t like people being late.
They walked down to the park and his hand slipped into hers, she didn’t mind, she knew that it made him feel safe. He seemed to know a lot about the flowers and the trees in the park and would eagerly share his knowledge, she had only been seeing him for 6 months and he was teaching her a lot.
As they rounded the corner to the lake she felt David stop and tense up. He was becoming quite distressed and his hand had tightened round hers.
“She is sat in my seat. Why is she sat in my seat. That is my seat.” David’s voice was filled with anger and Trudi looked to where he was pointing and noticed an elderly lady sat on the bench knitting. It was the bench they always stopped at to watch the ducks.
“It’s OK, Let’s walk around the lake and then maybe we can sit down after.” She tried to reassure him but she was annoyed with herself for not being more alert to any potential triggers, she often glanced ahead so she would be prepared but the park had been so quiet that morning that she didn’t think about it. She knew David would not accept her idea but she had to try.
“No! We always sit down first and watch the ducks and we always sit on that seat!” David did not take his eyes of the woman on the bench as he spoke and tears started to run down his cheeks. Trudi looked over at the woman wondering whether it would be wrong to ask her to move to a different bench or try to convince David to sit elsewhere, although she knew the latter would be pointless. Just at that point the woman packed her things away and left. Trudi felt awful because she sensed that the woman had left in a rush and wondered whether it was because of David being upset, his body language could often be misinterpreted. As his carer she had seen this happen so often but not many people realised that David had autism.
Prompt: 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.
Twist: write the scene from three different points of view.