The bench. [short story]

7:30pm

He owed this park bench his life.

It had been almost 60 years now and it showed on both of them, but time hadn’t been able to tame his gratitude. 

   They’d wanted to remove it last fall. Said it was “interfering with the modernisation of the park”, those white collar idiots. 

   That sure had set fire to his old bones, because as soon as they had left, he knocked on every door in the neighbourhood and didn’t leave until each house had signed his petition to Save the Bench. It might have been due to the fact that he by the third house had perfected his speech with tears on que and they felt sorry for an old man crying, or they just wanted to get “Wrinkles” (as one little girl opening the door had so kindly greeted him while pointing at his face) off their doorstep as soon as possible. Either way- he soon had 195 signatures.

   He had wanted to get up to 200, just to be proper, but he had run out of houses. After all, many of those 195 names had no clue what bench he was blabbering on about. 

   He never needed those five extra names. He had won, and the bench had stayed.

He affectionately ran his hand across the rugged wood, right where she would always sit. 

He owed this bench his life because this is where he once met her and, from that day on, she was his life. 

  He could still clearly recall the day he first saw her, coming down that hill, so light at her feet she seemed to suddenly appear from the foliage. 

The last rays of evening sun had turned her hair gold, and it had gently swayed to and fro in the breeze. 

  He stared intently as if to make her reappear and, to his surprise, she did. He could see her so clearly. She smiled that big smile he loved, the one that made her eyes all squinty, and then waved at him. He waved back before he could stop himself.

She made him come alive, every time.

“There you are, grandpa! I thought I would find you here.”

—————————————

I got this idea from Charli’s Carrot Ranch prompt this week:

January 23, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a park bench. Use this gif to choose a timeframe and write the story behind that particular scene. Use the time as your title. Go where the prompt leads!

(I didn’t actually follow the rules since mine turned into way more than 99 words haha, but it was still a lot of fun!)

//Hanna

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