It was a pleasant day in the small community park despite the heat of summer and the intensity of the mid-morning sun. I’ve spent many a morning in this park myself. The far end has a magnificent spiraled fountain that often gets clogged up with wishes and coins, though it never fails to inspire me, clogged or otherwise.
But, I digress. This story isn’t about me. And it’s not about the fountain. In truth, it’s about a mostly shaded bench and the people who occupied it for a time.
As I was saying, it was a pleasant day. A woman sat alone on that mostly shaded bench, a book in one hand and the other hand nestled in her lap.
After each turn of a page, she wiped a thin line of sweat from her brow, but her immersion into the fictional world never faltered. That’s the novelty of books: one can go anywhere, see anything, and all from the comfort of a park bench. She was so enthralled by the wondrous tales of Jules Verne that she failed to notice the well-dressed man who sat down beside her.
Shaking my head, I reach out a hand and place it on Amy’s shoulder. Her silky blonde hair spills over my fingers. Playing with her hair was always one of my favorite evening activities; I’ll miss brushing it out for her. Memories rush forth, and I swear each tear carries a new one.
“Remember when I got gum in your hair?” I ask, twirling a lock of her hair with my thumb. “I didn’t mean to do it, but we had to cut it to get it out.”
Amy giggles through her tears, trembling. “You cut your hair too so we could match. Your mom was so mad.”
My laughter joins hers. “Or how about the time I got lice from you, and they were all in my hair, and I tried to blame my little brother?”
“Ha! He didn’t even have hair yet!”
The two of us double over in hysterics, holding each other up. It stops being funny after a few minutes, but we keep laughing anyway. It’s better than crying.
Don’t forget to watch this awesome video I made for the book launch. 😉 (It also kicked off my YouTube channel—give it a like and be sure to subscribe!)