A Brighter Day

One day I am walking along the path in the park. I get to the gate of the park and go out onto the footpath. I walk along the footpath and the only things I feel are the sun, the hard ground and the energy at the top of my spine.

After getting my OJ from the shop I walk back along the footpaths towards the park. I walk slowly drinking the two litre bottle quickly and put the empty box in the usual bin near the allotments. Then I am walking with my hands clasped behind me at the small of my back. It is warm so I am wearing a T shirt and jeans with trainers.

Walking back towards my flat along the same path it is sunny and the bench I sometimes sit on has someone sitting on it. I don’t pay much attention at first, but as I get closer I realise that it is Tina Majorino out of the film Napoleon Dynamite. She is looking down across the football pitch with her hands under her thighs on the green metal bench. On the bench next to her is an open plastic box full of small aluminous items, probably wristbands like in the film. She is wearing a purple wool top with long skirt and her hair is in the one ponytail to one side, like in the film. She smiles slightly and her eyes sparkle like a star as she looks in a different direction as she must have seen me looking grim as I approach with my hands behind me. I see her reach down into her plastic box and take out a bright green thing, and as I am level with her she stands up and I stop and she holds the item out towards me. She is not very tall. It is a wristband she is holding and I think she wants me to wear it, so I hold out my arm. I forget everything. She puts it on my wrist adjusting it slightly and then I reach down and take a purple wristband from the box and put it on her wrist. Then as if in a dream, the green trees all around with their slowly swaying leaves and branches, we make eye contact and are happy… we go into a kind of sadness. Then at the next instant I blink and simultaneously Tina sits back down and closes the box and I start walking away. My last glimpse of her sees her now seeming to look more confused, but again smiling across the football pitch. A bee buzzes past and in a second I am looking ahead to the zebra crossing that crosses the main road a hundred metres away.

I go into a kind of sadness. This sadness lasts all weekend and all of the following week and into the future. Although I go to the shop the same way through the park everyday as usual for my OJ, I have never seen her again and I feel bad, even though I am not sure I want a girlfriend. I guess she went back to the USA. I keep the green wrist band on one of my bookshelves so that it doesn’t get ruined, and I never forget that sunny afternoon with the moment in the park. Into the future, the darkness turns to grey.



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