Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Young Love

Write a scene where the narrator observes two people getting engaged. The couple does not know that they are being watched.

He sat on the park bench under the shade of a large cypress tree, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and watching the ocean crash on the beach. He could hear children laughing in the distance, playing in the water or in the sand; and occasionally a seabird sang out as it flew by over head. On the sidewalk behind him a couple of teen aged girls skated past, chattering gaily with each other about nonsensical things, clothed only in short shorts and bathing suit tops.

In his day, girls would not be allowed out of their house in such skimpy dress; but his day was long ago and his daughter, and grand-daughters after, had broken him of his old fashioned notion of proper attire, and so the thought only frowned briefly across his bearded, smile-worn face. Thoughts of his daughter inevitably brought thoughts of his wife and he allowed himself a moment to walk down memory lane, remembering her sweet temperament and ready smile that had graced his days for more than fifty years. How he missed his Betsy!

It seemed as if his memories were being played out before his very eyes, for just then he witnessed a young man and woman walking towards him on the beach, hand in hand as he and Betsy had done so often in their youth. They seemed oblivious to everything except each other, and as the old man watched, they stopped and embraced each other, gazing into the others face with an intensity that seemed to exclude all else. They were too far away to hear what they were saying, but the old man could just imagine the words, for it was this very spot where he himself had professed his love for the wonderful woman who had become his wife. And sure enough, as if on cue, the young man took hold of his girl’s hand while at the same time pulling something out of a pocket and went down on one knee. Her exclamation of surprise and affirmation was not too far away to hear, and the old man smiled in wonder and delight as she flung her arms around her fiancĂ©’s neck, just as Betsy had done when he had asked her the same question, all those years ago.

They kissed they way young lovers do, the way he and his Betsy had done; and,as the kiss deepened, he sent a prayer out for this young couple to be blessed with the same kind of steadfast love that had carried him and his Betsy through fifty years of passion and hardship and joy. The diamond sparkled in the sunlight as she placed his ring on her finger, holding it out to admire it on her hand as they walked past the old man, dazzled by the promise of a bright, colorful future.