Weekend again and time for part 2 of the horror story The Girl in the Park.
Last week, we met our protagonist who was telling us about his childhood and his connection with the park. He also told us about a mysterious girl he saw there when he was a boy.
last week’s episode was finished off with him sharing a wave with the girl.
You can read the first part HERE.
On to today’s part…
I didn’t think about her again after that day, but that briefest of meetings had left an indelible impression, because when I next saw her, several years later, I recognised her instantly; she wore the same pale nightshirt, displaying the same red patch. Her face looked the same as the first day I had seen her. Exactly the same. I guess that was when I realised something was different about her.
That second time I saw her was also in Westbrooke Park. I was deep into my teen years, and my girlfriend of the time and I were strolling around the lake at the far end of the park. We were hand in hand, engrossed in our conversation, when I happened to glance across the water. I saw a woman standing on the opposite bank, too far to make out any details, but when she waved, I knew it was her.
I made no mention of this to my partner, who was still talking, and we continued this way until we reached the other side of the lake. Whilst maintaining my façade of interest in my partner’s conversation, I looked for the mystery woman, and was surprised to find myself disappointed not to see her. Turning my attention back to my girlfriend’s inane chatter, I trudged on, following the path.
As we moved away from the lake, I caught sight of her again, standing by herself, alongside the path, her hands clasped in front of her where the red had been, except there was no stain on the night shirt; it was an immaculate white with a small, pale bow on one shoulder. I turned to my girlfriend, who was still talking about something or other. She gave no indication that she had seen this woman, despite us passing no more than six feet from her. As we walked I looked back over my shoulder, and caught one final glimpse of her before we rounded the corner.
The courtship of my partner of the day did not last for long, as my obsession for this enigmatic woman grew. For some reason, I did not talk to anyone about what I had seen, instead I visited the park most days in hopes of seeing her again, which I did, but I had to wait until I had replaced my father as the head groundskeeper at the park.
To that point, my life had progressed along the path that my parents had mapped out for me; at almost twenty years old, I began working in a bank. My mother made sure I always had a clean, stiff-collared white shirt to wear. It says ambition, she always said, and perhaps she was right, as I was made the manager of our local branch before my thirtieth birthday.
My Parents were very proud, and took great joy in telling their neighbours of my success. I, however, was unhappy. The image of this young woman filled my dreams. Her face was behind every blink of my eyes.
After forty years of toiling, my father was rewarded with a heart attack, and was forced to give up the job he loved so much. A short while into his retirement, he had a second, more serious attack that finished him. I found him on the floor in his bedroom, in obvious pain, and crying. I held his hand and comforted him, my tears falling with his. I made a mistake, were his final words in this life.
These words troubled me greatly, and they began to share equal parts of my thinking with the mystery woman, until the two became inseparable, almost indistinguishable. It was not long after his death that I resolved to explore any possible connection, and took the first step by shedding my white-collar life, and taking up a position with the grounds-staff at my father’s park.
My mother was, of course, mortified. She told me that my father would be ashamed. Although her words stung me, I was resolute, and worked at the park until I was eventually named head groundskeeper, like my father before me.
Part 3 will be with you next Saturday…