Man on the bench

I was inspired to write this piece through the participation in the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild Art in the A.M. monthly event. The assignment was to write 300 or fewer words about one of the pieces of art chosen for the month. The photograph by Angie Moon inspired my imagination.  Since I am using her photograph on my website, I also am including a link to her website:

My piece represents a subject of my book Black Market Baby, which I am in the process of completing.  It does not represent Angie’s theme. 

He dropped his head into his right hand, sinking deep into his thoughts.  He was no longer aware of the lovely garden around him, or of the rigid wooden bench upon which he sat. He didn’t feel the warmth of the sunshine, or hear the cry of the cardinal as it welcomed spring.

He pictured the young woman where they had just met by the pond.  Their favorite spot.  The place they knew they would find each other in the afternoons.  He could still hear her voice and see the tears in her eyes. Pregnant.  She was pregnant.  What were they to do, she asked him.  Fear swelled from within him. He didn’t know what to tell her.  Let me think, he said. Let’s meet tomorrow.

He walked away from her as she sat holding back her sobs. He couldn’t console her because he was too afraid himself. What to do.  He couldn’t marry her. He was married. She was so young and so beautiful. Young, alone, and pregnant. What had he done?

He walked through the park and past the daffodils that had begun to shrivel and die. He didn’t notice them. He didn’t notice the boy on the bicycle who nearly ran him over or the couple walking hand in hand. He didn’t notice the toy boats in the pond and the geese snapping up the breadcrumbs dropped by a woman wearing a shawl.

What to do.  He had always wanted a child, and now there was a child he could not have.  He had married after the war, but no children would come from that marriage. He could not turn for advice to his mother, his father, or sisters who had died by the Nazis hands. Tomorrow, he thought, I will call my friend Zalmon tomorrow. He will know what to do.



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