Set up: It’s the next day after they met and they are taking a walk in the park. Phoebe almost fell asleep in Gideon’s arms as they rested under a tree. (somewhat edied)
“Come. Perhaps exploring the park will perk you up.” He shifted himself to an upright position, straightened his rumpled sweater, and pulled her up. Taking her hand he led her back onto the path.
“Oh goody, an ice cream stand. Something cool and smooth might get rid my lethargy.”
“What will you have?” He held a handful of change in readiness.
“Mmm an ice cream bar, vanilla with dark chocolate. What’re you going to order?”
“Nothing for now. I will get a bite to eat later.”
Munching happily on her sweet, they continued to wander through the park. After a few minutes he stopped her. “Is something wrong?”
“No” He posed her in front of him. “I enjoy watching you bite and lick your treat. You seem to have a method for how to eat it. I also find it very sensual.”
Phoebe laughed somewhat embarrassed at his scrutiny and comment. “No it’s not like an Oreo where some people eat the cookie first and then the cream or the cream first and next the biscuit, or some just bite into it totally.” She pushed him further away “You wanted to explore, so let’s explore.”
“You said the animals are no longer on display?”
“No, they aren’t.”
“See over there, a crowed of children are gathered.”
She turned her head in the direction where he pointed and sure enough a gaggle of kids jumped, skipped and generally milled around. The parents rimmed around the exterior of the area sitting on benches or standing and talking. The buzz of the adult conversations and the high pitched noises emulating from the children created a friendly, fun atmosphere. Phoebe finished her frozen sweet and tossed the wrapper into a garbage bin. “That was good. I feel better. Let’s see what the children are up to. I love watching them. Their colourful clothing seems like a rainbow in motion.”
Gideon’s voice carried a hint of concern. “Would you like a child of your own one day?”
“I’ve thought about it but I haven’t met a man to have one with so haven’t decided. Oh look, here’s a teeter-totter! I didn’t know if kids still played on these or not.”
“What is a teeter-totter?” He enunciated carefully.
Phoebe glanced at him. “You really don’t know?”
“I am not trying to fool you. I have never seen such a contraption before.”
“Well they did exist when you were a child but perhaps you never played on one.” She proceeded to explain the mechanics of how the equipment worked. “This one appears to be constructed of wood and painted bright red one side and on the other bright blue.
”I do not think it would hold your weight,” he noted doubtfully.
She moved toward it and with her forefinger balanced the two sides. “When I was small we would try to stabilize ourselves so that neither side was completely up or down. With exactly the right pressure either the blue side or the red side can be pushed all the way to the ground.”
He placed his hand over hers as she demonstrated. “And with the smallest touch it can be evened out. Then if it’s moved slightly one side can dominate the other and it’s hard to differentiate which side caused the imbalance. It’s all in the perspective.” She peered at Gideon.
He shrugged “Instead of red and blue what if the red was good and the blue evil. And merely with a shift in the breeze one side overtakes the other almost at random. The apparatus still is composed of blue and red, or good and evil, but one could control the other. Everyone carries both dispositions within themselves. Who is to say the blue or red takes over the other side.”
“Are you referring to yourself Gideon?”
“Yes perhaps I am.”
“Maybe you are mostly red or good but a fluke in the wind caused you to shift to the blue or evil. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost the good.”
“You may be correct.”
“I studied psychology in school and circumstances can render a good person evil and vice versa. It’s how the person handles the situation that counts. They may decide to entirely go with one side or the other. Or to fight the evil. It’s a matter of determination, strength and free will. I believe one’s environment can also be a factor in these determinations.”
Phoebe noticed Gideon’s demeanor seemed glazed over as if his thoughts were chasing each other in his mind.
“For example, that little boy in the blue overalls is basically a generous and forgiving child but gets in with a group of bullies and for whatever reason wishes to be well thought of in that group, then he may become a bully to fit in. Or if a bully somehow finds himself in a bunch of children with good humour and caring for others then the bully may wish to become like the others. There are so many factors that determine a person’s worth. Well we best get out of the way these two little girls look like they wish to teeter and totter,” She smiled down at the girls, one dark haired in a red T shirt and the other platinum blonde in a black long sweater.