It was a month ago when I saw her for the first time. It was a perfect morning: birds flying in the sky, the trees swaying in the gentle breeze, and the morning sun casting its golden hue everywhere.
Like me, she was also walking in the park, a tall pretty young lady.
Something about her caught my eye.
I knew it was rude to stare, but I still did.
After a few rounds of walk around the park, she came and sat on the bench near me. I gave her a smile, and she smiled back,
I noticed she had radiant green eyes which shone like emeralds on her beautiful face. Her short blonde hair looked like spun gold in the early morning sunlight.
We both sat on the bench enjoying the beautiful weather and basking in the glorious rays of the sun . I would steal a glance towards her once in a while. I saw her staring intently at the army of ants walking in a straight line, following their leader.
Without any warning she stood up from the bench, and walked away without glancing at me. I looked, until she vanished from sight.
After that day, I saw her every day in the park, at times she would acknowledge me, and at other times, she would just look through me and walk away.
Each morning, my eyes would be searching for her in the park.
I was curious and wanted to know more about her, but her unfriendly demeanor discouraged me from approaching her.
Few days later, I had just completed my daily walk, and sat on a bench to catch my breath .I saw her entering the park, she came directly to where I was, and sat beside me on the bench. She was wearing pink track pants and a sweat shirt and looked gorgeous in them. I instantly fell in love with her.
" Hi, I'm Roy." I introduced myself
"My name is Gini," she said with a shy smile.
I told her about myself: that I lived alone, and worked as a stock broker in a finance company.
She told me she worked in a bank, and was married with a three -year -old daughter.
That piece of information really shook me and tugged at the corners of my heart. A feeling of sadness crept over me.
From that day onwards, I always kept my distance from Gini, but she made a point to come and talk to me whenever we crossed paths.
She always spoke about her precious little daughter Rose, and showed me pictures of her.
Gini hardly ever spoke of her husband.
I got the feeling that all was not well between them.
One morning, as I entered the park, I saw Gini sitting on the bench looking forlorn and sad. She was bothered by something.
I went up to her, I noticed that, her eyes were red and swollen.
"What's the matter Gini?" I asked, a bit concerned.
"It's Rose, she is not well"
"I'm sorry to hear that, don't worry, it must be the weather, she will be fine," I said trying to calm her.
"I was awake the entire night taking care of her, after a great difficulty she went off to sleep, so I came for my walk. she said.
"Doesn't your husband help you?"I asked a bit annoyed at his careless behaviour.
She got up abruptly and walked away without saying a word..
I didn’t see Gini for the next couple of days, and was worried about her.
I cursed myself for not asking for her phone number.
The following morning, I saw Gini walking in the park. She came up to me, and I could see, she looked happy and relaxed.
"I guess Rose is doing fine? " I smiled at her.
She looked at me with confusion in her eyes, but recovered quickly.
"Uh! Oh yes, she is fine, so I'm here."
We chatted for a while, and this time around I asked for her number, but she said her husband was very narrow- minded.
He would mind if strangers called at their house.
As we left the park, I offered to drive her home, but she refused, saying she lived not far from the park and walked away.
On a whim I followed her, and noticed, she had entered a small cottage, just a few blocks away from the park.
For a week I couldn't go to the park for my morning walks, as I was out of town for some official work .
I often thought of Gini, wondered if she missed not seeing me in the park.
After returning home from my business trip.
I went to the park, the following morning. Gini was walking as usual.I was shocked to see her, she looked pale and sick there were dark circles under her eyes and she had lost a lot of weight
"Hey Gini! What's up? You don't look so good", I asked her as she came towards me.
To my utter amazement Gini started weeping.
"Calm down Gini, can you tell me what the problem is ?" I said helping her to the bench.She was silent for a long time,finally she said.
"It's my husband , he wants a divorce and is threatening to take Rose away from me. If he does that, what will I do?"
She started weeping again.
I tried to calm her, uncertain what to say.
"Don't you have any relatives who can help you ?"
She shook her head and wiped her tears.
"My parents died when I was very young. I have a brother, but he won't help me".
"If you need any help from me don't hesitate to ask." My heart went out to her and I desperately wanted to help.
"You are very sweet, Roy, and thanks for your offer. I appreciate it"
She sat there looking lonely and helpless, and I wanted to take her in my arms and keep her there forever.
I was getting late for work, so I left, once again reminding her of my support and assistance.
After that day I never saw Gini in the park again. I realized it was nearly a month since I had met Gini, and we had formed a bond of friendship.I wanted to reach out to her, but she never returned to the park.
As days passed, I was restless, and missed her.
I desperately wanted to go and see her, but thought it would make matters worse for her, and her husband, and changed my mind.
I didn’t know if it was love, or sympathy that I felt for her, but I wanted to be with Ginny and protect her, if she was in trouble.
Ten days had passed since I Iast saw Gini, and I was sick with worry ,she said there was no one who could help her, what if she was in danger and needed my help? I had to find out.
Next morning, I decide to go and visit Gini.
I cautiously approached her house, eager to see her.
Everything looked calm and peaceful from outside.
I rang the doorbell, and heard some footsteps inside, I hoped it was Gini. The door opened but it was not Gini.
A tall handsome guy stood there looking curiously at me.
I was taken aback, and didn't know what to say.
" May I help you?" the guy asked
"Ah... does Gini live here?" I asked.
"Who are you?"
I'm Roy, just a friend from the park, I haven't seen her for some days, I was worried, so just came to see how she's doing.
"Please come in" he invited me inside
It was a large living room decorated tastefully he offered me a chair before sitting on another.
"I'm Dave, Gini's, brother"
I felt awkward sitting there talking to Gini's brother,
"Where's Gini ? I hope she is well".
"She is resting, Dave said.
"I'm sorry for the intrusion ,maybe this is not the right time to visit her", I said.
He stood up and gestured me to follow him.
I followed him into a tiny room at the far end of the house.
Gini lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling, her once pretty face looked gaunt and sickly, her eyes had sunk in her sockets, and her cheekbones were protruding.
"Gini " Dave called out to her, "see who has come to meet you?"
Gini looked at me without a flicker of recognition, her eyes were blank and lifeless.
"Gini "I called out to her, but she didn't respond and continued looking up at the ceiling.
Dave escorted me back to the living room
"I'm sorry to see Gini in this condition".
"Is she in some kind of shock?" I asked,
It has to be I thought, her husband must have left, taking Rose with him, so she's in this state.
"Gini has been suffering from schizophrenia for many years, but recently she's taken a turn for the worst, and the doctors says nothing can be done now. Eventually, I will have to admit her to a nursing home." Dave said.
"Where is her husband, and her daughter Rose? I asked.
He looked at me as though I had lost my mind.
"What are you talking about?" he asked looking at me strangely,
"Gini told me she has a three- year -old daughter Rose, and a husband with whom she is not on good terms. She even showed me pictures of her daughter."
"I don't know what you are saying mister."
"Gini is not married nor does she have a daughter", he informed me.
I was shocked, I didn't realize how long I stood there, staring at Dave. I knew there was no point in waiting there anymore, I thanked Dave, and walked out of the house.
Never before, did I feel so empty and helpless in life.
Yes, I was going to miss that girl from the park, and nothing was ever going to be the same again.