Tagged: Mary

WEDNESDAY: The Bench

BY MARY CUDNEY

Copyright is held by the author.

TODAY WAS the day, Alice decided. She was seated on “her’ bench beneath “her” tree in a park where she knew every bridge, every trail, through every forest glade, practically every bee in every meadow. Nowhere in the world did she feel more secure.

So, yes, today she’d do it. She was tired of sitting alone at tables meant for two. That morning, she had admired herself in her dining room mirror and looking closely saw a lovely young woman looking back at her. With long blonde hair and bright blue inquiring eyes. She was of perfect stature to rest her head on someone’s shoulder. She really could not understand why a shoulder was not present in her life. A shoulder to cry on, a shoulder to dance with, a shoulder to lean on.

Whoever sat down next on the bench, of the young male persuasion, she would ask out for a coffee. Coffee at Tim’s would be safe enough. Since she had never been out on a date, it would not change anything if the guy said no, thinking she was some sort of nut.

But, maybe she was a little nutty. Who else did she know that read books instead of watching television. Who even at her age, still delighted in making angels in the snow. Who preferred walking in the rain to sitting indoors regretting the change of weather.

She put her head down, reading her adventure book, strands of her hair falling forward, hiding her face. Alice felt the bench shudder as someone sat down. She took a peek out of the corner of her eye. A young man! Taking a deep breath, and pulling her courage together, she turned toward him.

He’d closed his eyes and leaned his head back. He was tall. His head stretched two feet above the top slat of the bench. Handsome in a strange way, he was dressed in a suit with a white vest. Silver white hair framed his young rounded face.  Calm looking in repose. His nose twitched as if he were going to sneeze and then relaxed.

He sat there quietly for a few more moments. Alice did not want to interrupt his seeming serenity. Impatiently, she waited for him to open his eyes.

“Oh no. I’m late, very late.” the young man muttered looking at his watch.

Jumping up from the bench, he dropped a pair of white gloves at Alice’s feet and ran off onto the forest trail.

“Wait,” she cried. But, he had disappeared. “For heaven’s sake, couldn’t he have stayed long enough for a short conversation,” she complained, “Ah well, I’ll try again tomorrow.”

On a whim she put her email address inside one of the gloves with a short note about them being bench buddies. Just in case. She placed the gloves on the bench in the event he returned for them.

Alice rose with a sigh and strode down the trail, inspecting the red roses along the way. Thinking to herself she preferred the white ones.