The Park Bench

Introducing a new series, “Snippets in Time”, a series of short narratives that are based on my experiences or have heard from a friend.  To add a bit of anonymity, mystery and drama, some bits and pieces may be altered.  They will have little to no explanation, so let your imagination wander.  Enjoy.

 

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“What am I doing?”, she thought to herself.

They sat on a simple park bench.  The sun was slowly sinking into the horizon as kids, families and parents gathered their belongings to leave the park.  He just wanted to talk.  But what was there to talk about?  Things haven’t been the same, and nothing they could do or say would change that.

They chatted and chatted, though their talk was small.  She wasn’t willing to go deep and he was just hoping to be a talk like they used to talk.

“I can’t do this”, she eventually blurted out.

“What do you mean?”, he countered.

“I mean we can’t just keep doing this.  You might be fine with it and you might be okay.  We always hang out for the sake of our friendship, but I can’t keep getting my hopes up for nothing.  Part of me still isn’t over it..”

Silence filled the air as birds chirped in the background and a slight breeze swept over them.

“So what do you want me to be then?”, he said, solemnly.

She gathered her thoughts.  Thinking about the past.  Thinking about what had happened.  Thinking about the course of today’s events.  Time passed, it could have been 5 minutes, or even 15 minutes, she was that lost in her train of thoughts.  As her brain went about every avenue, one thing was certain, she didn’t want to burden herself anymore.

She lifted her right hand, holding up an imaginary thumbtack.  She poked it into an imaginary corkboard and said:

“An acquaintance.”

He remained silent as she stood up.  She began walking away.  Even though he was her ride home, she just kept walking.  Across the grass and across the parking lot.  As if she would turn into a pillar of salt, she convinced herself not to look back.  Looking back would make it seem like she didn’t truly want her statement to be true.  The silence was overbearing.  The only noise came from the rustling of the grass and the scraping of the concrete sidewalk under her feet.

As she walked, she wondered.

“Is he chasing after me, hoping to get another word in?  Would he fight me hard on my response?  Is he crying?  Is he even sad?”

Soon, she found herself at the front door of her house.  She had walked all the way home.  Was this the closure she needed?

It would have to do.

 

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