Brookside Park – Part 1

“Hi. I know that we don’t know each other, and I may be coming off as extremely creepy, but can I talk to you for a bit?”, she asked the only other person, a girl, in a two kilometer radius. Then again, it was five in the twenty-third morning of October, and she wasn’t really expecting to see anyone at the local park. Octobers are really cold in London, Ontario.

“Yeah, I guess”, the other girl replied, disconcerted. “Is everything okay? You look the kind of pale that even cold weather can’t justify”.

“Yeah, well, I just broke up with someone, so I think the emptiness and chill are more than justified.”

“So, how often do you reveal disturbingly deep emotional issues to random strangers on a chilly mornings? I’m Aria, by the way.”

“Not very often. I’m a blithe young spirit on most days. This just happens to be a rather dreary day. And, nice to meet you Aria, I’m Gul”.

“Well, it’s just five in the morning and the sun hasn’t even risen yet. I’d give today another chance.”

“You sound like what I do on a sunny day, Aria. Thank you, but I just feel really hollow and bogged down right now.”

“Sounds familiar. Been there, done that. So carry on, I’m all ears.”

“Actually, what are you even doing here at this time? Pretty sure you have some stuff going on, yourself.”

“You’ll be surprised at finding out how many people I end up meeting here every other day. This seems to be the go-to time and place for disheartened souls.”

“So you come here every day? This isn’t exactly morning walk weather.”

“I have my reasons. It’s probably going to take more than one run-ins for me to reveal them to you, you see. Unlike you, I’m pretty blithe right now”.

“Umm… okay.”

“So what’s your deal? Some guy break your heart?”

“Actually, to him and the rest of the world, I’m the heart-breaker.”

“That’s quite heart-breaking”.

“You really don’t want to add to the list”.

“Hey! Empathy is the best form of sympathy!”

“Anyway, so it’s not the best feeling in the world, you know.” She had just begun opening up.

“I know, kid. Sorry to add on to your disappointment with life, but it looks like it’s going to rain. And I’d like to take a rain-check.”

“Wait what? You’re leaving already? What about the day getting brighter and empathy outsmarting sympathy?” She sounded dismayed.

“It’s not a book sweetheart, this is real life. Take on each day as it comes, one day at a time. You know where to find me.”

And so Aria left the scene, and Gul didn’t really want to be left behind, alone and sad in a rain storm. But the conversation wasn’t over yet. She was going to come back for more.

***  Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here. Part 4 here.***

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