He was sitting on the bench as he did every afternoon in autumn enjoying the sun and the quiet of the park. Today, as it did every Wednesday, the air smelled of freshly cut grass. A flash of bright red caught his eye. A young boy was chasing his ball, his face lit up with a smile. His grandson would be about the boy’s age now. He wondered what he looked like after all this time. The last time he saw him he was still an infant huddled in his mother’s arms as they said their goodbyes at the airport.
The boy ran across her path with the single-mindedness of the very young. She heard someone shout to him to be careful and she smiled faintly. She wondered if she was having a boy. Neither of them had wanted to know the sex of their baby at the last doctor’s appointment saying they wanted it to be a surprise. Telling Jack that she desperately wanted a little girl didn’t seem like the right thing to do. She had never told him about the little girl she had given up for adoption all those years ago and she never intended to.
He tried to catch his breath as he rushed back to work after the surprisingly productive lunch meeting. Thank god they had come around to seeing the situation his way. If not it would have meant another two week delay and thousands of dollars. The sound of childish laughter made him turn his head. A little boy was triumphantly holding a ball above his head, his cheeks flushed red. He made a mental note to call his ex-wife that evening and let her know he’d have to skip this weekend. Birthday or not he had details to finalize before Monday.
She did well most days. She could put the thought out of her mind and go on with her day not giving it a second thought. Other times it would only take a picture posted on Facebook by a distant acquaintance to bring her world crashing down once again. The happy announcement, the congratulations pouring in, the grainy sonogram picture proudly posted. Today it was the sight of a little boy, eagerly sprinting after his ball across the grass. The unfairness of it all surrounded her like a sodden blanket, at times making it hard to even catch her breath.
She cursed under her breath as she waited for Max to show up. He knew she hated waiting and sometimes wondered if he was late on purpose. Neither of them could afford to miss class again. She happened to glance at the little boy playing just meters away and thoughts of Max vanished from her mind. He was the spitting image of her brother minus the black hair. The years since his death had mellowed the pain enough for her to just enjoy the delight with which this other little boy played in the park on a sunny fall day.
(I decided to combine two prompts from Writing 101 for today’s post. Five different vignettes with a common element but keeping each one at 100 words.)