Samantha shut her book and stared across the willow pond–the old man asleep on the bench, his newspaper down the way in the wind–a light read, she laughed to herself–the children, too small for school, too small for tossing pebbles, aiming for the pond and bouncing on the shore; squirrels making chit-chase; joggers joggishly pushing, red faced and puffered-up, digging for tomorrow today; woman reading a romance novel, maybe thinking of the old man, maybe they used to share acquaintances, a bed–lovers gone old, second thoughts and first shame, the milk partly drank, swing-sloshing in the refrigerator door, red capped and yellow, acrid and swollen. Done. The park was large and green, sidewalks clean and winding through flowered bushes, beached geese honking at the idea of food. Samantha sighed.
Then the rain came. Pouring, pouring. Pouring, pouring. The old man awoke and went for his home, went for his wet paper, went for his home; the children laughed, grabbed by their mother; chit-chasing, the squirrels scratched back to their tree houses; joggers became runners; the old woman sat. Samantha sat. They stared at each other across the pond–mascara running, the washed pale look of wanted shelter, red noses–drowning romance in the soaked sheets of falling rain.