Darcy and Brian have been dating for approximately five years. Darcy loves Brian but wants to build her career before settling down. She has been the regional manager for the company she works for for the past three years. She has been promoted to the overseas operation and must transfer to the Asian Corporate office within the month. She has asked Brian to meet her here in the park to share her good news.
Brian has been in love with Darcy since he first met her. He believes she is perfect for him. She is ambitious, intelligent, athletic and driven. Recently he has been thinking of moving their relationship to a new level. He wants a family and children to come home to. They are financially secure and they are nearing forty, if they want children it needs to be soon. He has been carrying a ring in his pockets for a month now waiting for the perfect moment to propose. Today is the day. Darcy called and asked to meet him in the park on this perfect spring day. It’s not often that they can slip out of the office for a quick lunch and a walk in the park.
They grab a quick lunch from the vendor and head to the park. Holding hands they stroll and talk about their mornings. Conversation is a bit stilted and they feel it, Darcy wondering how Brian will take her news and Brian wondering how to make this proposal without stuttering. Brian is overwhelmed by his love for her and wants this to be perfect.
They head to their favorite area of the park, the pond, where they sit and watch the ducks and geese. The children take so much pleasure in the birds as they race to retrieve the bread pieces the children lob their way. Too nervous to think of eating Brian begins telling Darcy how he feels and what he needs at this stage of his life. Darcy, excited, interrupts and tells Brian of her meeting and promotion this morning. She is so excited she doesn’t notice the hurt in Brian’s face and voice. She talks of her plans for moving and relocating. Her career is finally heading in the direction she has dreamed of since joining the company. She doesn’t understand why Brian is not more enthusiastic and assumes it is a bit of jealousy.
They make plans to talk more about it this evening and head back through the park toward the office. Holding hands and each lost in their own thoughts they speak little. They pass few strollers today, and notice an old lady on a bench. She seems engrossed in the knitting of what appears to be a small red sweater for a child, presumably a young boy. Darcy barely notices the old lady, her head reeling with plans.
Brian turns his head away so Darcy will not see the tears escaping his eyes, sentimental fool. There go his plans of a future with her and his dreams of a family. No children and no grandmas knitting small sweaters. He has no desire to relocate to the Asian market and not once did Darcy mention their relation or how it played into her plans.
The little old lady on the bench watches them pass. She sees the hands entwined and thinks how lucky they are, young lovers strolling through the park on their lunch hour, stealing time to be alone. She imagines their busy lives, careers and children, juggling time to get it all in and have time for themselves. She thinks of her own life, lonely and routine. Sitting and knitting for the neighborhood children knowing she will never see them wear the sweaters and mittens she creates for them, an old spinster who never had the opportunity to marry and have children. She thinks fondly of her fiancé who was killed at war before they had the opportunity to marry. She has mourned him her entire life and knows that soon she will be reunited with him. She looks forward to that day as she sits in the park and knits.