The Bench

We are so thrilled to debut a short story written by a new writer with us Hind AlMusharrekh We hope you enjoy it

This bench was my only friend, nailed into the concrete ground, lathered in same white paint throughout its existence. From my innocent plump face to my prevailing wrinkles, this bench possessed my spirit, my raw quality that remained untouched by experience or age. It watched me grow for over sixty years, right at the same angle, across the playground, in front of the same angel oak. It witnessed me take my first tumble, make my first friend, and commit my first crime.

It was a tipsy summer night in ‘59 when I had taken my first hit. I forgave him following his tearful apology, but my blackened jaw the next morning could beg to differ. Friends raised eyebrows, but then accepted that it was merely our slippery bathtub or a stumble down the stairs. He was not a bad man, he was truly passionate and loving. For he was capable of loving even more than his dear wife. He would express this to me every time he chased the last drop of love out of the bottle, and lovingly flushed my cheeks with his fists. I knew that one day, I would show him the same amount of love as he has shown me for all these years.

It was a long winter night – long awaited that is. It was pitch black, much too dark for an old lady’s declining vision. However, this was not an obstacle, but assistance from nature. The trees whispered in the distance, guiding me to my destination, and my companion’s final resting place. His excessive weight exhausted me, I worried about dragging it against the fresh green grass, for it would lose its vibrant color. My hands surrender, veins throbbing through my see-through skin, the air starting to thicken with dread and heartache. But there it was, the bench shining in its own newly varnished luminosity, my only comfort in this never ending life.

Here, I sit, the dawn after my lover’s death, with a bloodied trail beneath my feet and the sun shining in my face. It was surely not the marriage I found happiness in, but the knowledge of his current desire to find peace, while I swim in my own form of it, right on top of him.

Author: Hind AlMusharrekh


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