She passed by the car, again, on her jog this evening. Second day in a row. It wouldn’t be a thing that stuck, except, there weren’t usually any cars parked in the park at that time.
A smaller town, the park closed at 5pm. She loved that it was hers for her hour run. She had moved, almost exactly a year ago, to be out of the constant drone of city life. Maybe she was getting older or maybe it never really suited her but small town life was comfortable.
In that year of taking her run in the park, she'd not seen any cars after 5pm. Parents were feeding their kids and there weren’t many teens living in the town. The ones she’d seen all hung out at the pizza parlor or in the parking lot of the movie theater, on the edge of town. She got home, started dinner, planned for an early bedtime and didn’t give the car another thought.
There it was, again. A third time. The odd thing, beyond parking after hours, was the man sitting in the driver’s seat. He sat in the car, wearing a brown suit and matching fedora, staring straight ahead, with the windows up. It was summer.
The odder thing, was that he sat perfectly still. Not that she got to see him for very long. He was in her line of sight for a about five minutes as she skirted the park but she never saw him move, in that time.
Fourth day and there was the car, again. This time, a woman was in the driver’s seat. The woman looked at her and smiled. When she smiled back, the woman took it as her opening and said, “Such a beautiful evening. Don't get by here, very often, anymore. My father, he loved this park. He was responsible for it being built, you know. He always felt the kids in this town needed a place to play and just be. It doesn’t seem as if it's used as much as it once was.”
She had slowed to a walk as the woman spoke. She asked, “Did your father like to wear a brown fedora?” The woman, surprised, stumbled over her words a little. “Well..um...yes. Every Sunday, he wore his brown suit and fedora. Looked very dapper. We’d usually come by here for an hour or two after church, then go home for Sunday supper.”
She smiled at the woman and at the thought of having seen her father. She wished her a good evening and continued on her run.