The Bench


1472023_10200902611398748_290109730_n*This is a really good example of the purpose of this writing blog:

“The idea is to write something every day, quickly, without fretting too much over words or taking any time to edit. Just let the words flow. I’ll see if they give me a story, a lyric, a poem; it doesn’t matter. If it blossoms into something fuller later that’s fine, but it’s ok if they remain fragments.”

I mayor may not develop this one:

Every day Sarah would make a meandering loop through the park. For several weeks now, she had made a determined choice to change her route and to make it as random as possible. It was too painful to follow old habits. She consciously pushed her feet over new grass and unexplored pavement. But today she hadn’t been thinking and suddenly she found herself passing the playground, then the broken water fountain, and finally the duck pond. Mama ushering her ducklings across the path startled her into realizing where she was.

Pausing for a moment Sarah concentrated hard, biting her lip and twisting an unruly ribbon of chestnut around her finger. She could turn around but at this point she might as well go forward. Perhaps she had been the coward too long. Around one more bend and the bench came into site, forlorn and empty except for a sparse blanket of leaves. Here was the place where she and Sean had sat almost every day, sharing their lunch and their secrets. But the secrets were lost now. There would never be another lunch. No more peels of uncontrollable laughter of the like that had nearly choked Sarah or had sent Dr Pepper snorting out of Sean’s nose. The happy memories were suspended now in Sarah’s head.

She stopped, but she couldn’t sit. This bench was not for sitting anymore, not for lingering, certainly not for laughing. It was an unmarked monument to friendship and love interrupted. Only she knew what had transpired here, what was now lost. Before long, the wooden slats would be coated with snow. Soon the little bench would seem even lonelier. But for now it was covered with orange and that seemed a kind of comfort; the color of pumpkins and autumn.

When she closed her eyes and sucked in a breath she saw the russet of Sean’s corduroy jacket and could almost smell the clean soapy scent of his hair. She could imagine him laughing at one of her clumsily constructed jokes. But the voice that quietly came up behind her, wasn’t Sean, though it was so familiar that it gave her a jolt. It sounded like Sean, clear as day, so much that she was afraid to turn around. If it was an auditory hallucination, it was an awfully loud one. As much as Sarah wanted a chance to talk to Sean again, she knew this was not possible.The only way the dead can speak is through the things they leave behind.



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