(I apologize if my writing feels a little all over the place at times. My brain seems a little ADD when it comes to fixing things that aren’t working or trying to add detail here and there. I’ll try to proofread and make some improvements on it later, but for now, I’m sleepy.)
He was surprised he had been able to walk this far, but after twenty minutes of traversing the streets of New York, his joints were telling him he could either choose to take a break or they would choose for him. The clouds slowly rolled over the city, blocking out the warmth of the sun and lowering the chances of him walking more than another twenty feet or so. Harold sat on a wooden bench and watched his four year-old granddaughter while his daughter-in-law stood along 125th Street and tried her hand at hailing a taxi.
A stiff breeze from the east pushed Harold’s gray cap off of the wooden bench and it flipped over a few times before coming to rest ten feet away. He tried to stand, but when his right knee protested he changed tactics. He looked up and waved his gnarled fingers in little Loretta’s direction.
“Lolo!” he called out, using his favorite nickname. “Go grab grandpa’s hat!”
“Okay!” Loretta looked away from the three blue balloons that demanded her attention. She looked at her grandpa, looked at the hat, and grinned as she ran towards the hat like a tiger ready to pounce on a mouse. A few steps and a playful jump later, she reached out with both hands and snatched up the hat successfully. She walked back to the bench and held the hat out in a firm grip. “Here you go!”
He took the hat in one hand and gently patted her on the head with the other. “Thank you, Lolo!”
“You welcome!” she replied, her eyes drifting back up to the balloons caught on the crisscrossing cables that lined the north side of the bridge. Pointing in their direction, she asked in her four year-old voice. “Whose is those?”
“Whose are those?” he corrected gently. Harold pushed his glasses up further onto his nose in a practiced motion and turned to see what she was pointing at. He first noticed the motion of some object, then saw the three distinctly round shapes, and then saw that one balloon was a bit smaller than the others. “I can’t rightly tell you whose those are.”
Before he could stop her, she turned to the woman who happened to be the closest person walking by. “Pardon me,” she asked, boldly approaching the stranger.
After a moment, the stranger realized she’d been addressed and she looked at Loretta with a smile, the young lady’s manners too adorable to ignore. Bending down, she asked, “Yes?”
“Do you know whose balloons those… are?”
Harold watched the woman as she looked where Loretta pointed. He didn’t have to know her dress was purchased off of 5th Avenue or that her shoes came from a boutique in London to guess that she was going places. He admired the way her light brown trenchcoat hugged her figure and showed anyone looking her way exactly where her hips were. His wife used to have excellent hips.
The stranger’s eyes lowered from the balloons to his face. Her eyebrows furrowed slightly when he didn’t look away and she turned her attention back to the child. “I don’t know who they belong to.” She pointed in his direction. “Why don’t you ask him?”
“He says he doesn’t rightly know.”
Harold managed to pull his eyes away from the beautiful woman with her long, black hair pulled back in a thin braid that would sway in time with her every footstep. He realized that he had been staring and suddenly the brim of his hat required his full attention.