A creative descriptive short story written in second person present tense about a bench.
The sun is shining brightly, a delicate hint of a breeze brushes over you making the small wisps of hair dance around your cheeks, tickling slightly. The sky is blue with not a cloud in sight. You watch the birds soar and dive overhead, wishing you were with them, if only for a minute of two. You pick absent-mindedly at the peeling brown paint from the bench on which you are sitting, the warm heat of the sun pressing on your skin like a gentle hug. A tall cherry tree looms above you, its leaves barely making a sound but casting magnificent swirling shadows on the dusty path before you.
The bench creaks slightly as an elderly lady sits down beside you. She exhales slowly as she brings out a large newspaper, already opened at the daily crossword. You speak with her; a quick hello, a brief comment on the weather, then, there is nothing more to be said. You return to the leaves and she, to her crossword. The lady has short curled hair and nude stockings under a dainty flower patterned dress, she is scribbling away furiously. Out of the corner of your eye you see the short comic strip: 'Calvin and Hobbes'. The little old lady is tapping her ball point pen aggravatingly on the folds of the newspaper in her small hands. Tapping, tapping, tapping. 29 across, 6 letters, clue: US President 1945-53. You know this one. Harry S. Truman. Truman. The answer is Truman. The lady sighs thoughtfully, then, without answering the riddle, folds the newspaper and hoists herself up off the bench and wanders off without a second thought to the unfinished puzzle.
You sit back and stretch, reaching your fingertips as high as they can, grasping at the hidden stars. You yawn as a man who looks to be in his mid-thirties walks briskly past, every few paces glancing behind him. Your imagination takes off; the man - who happens to be wearing a beige trench coat - is now a spy. The man quickens his walk subtly, he's running from someone, you think. Before you can make up who the someone is you're interrupted by a young couple crashing down onto the bench beside you. You shuffle closer to the end of the bench as they squirm, taking up more and more space until you are completely backed into the corner. The arm of the bench digs painfully into your back. The lively couple are unaware of your pressing discomfort as they continue to chatter lovingly. You exhale and quickly get to your feet, escaping before you too, are drawn into their embrace.
You amble slowly in the general direction of the duck pond, where two men, standing arm in arm, tear off scraps of bread and throw them to the eager birds. A sign to their left reads, "Do not feed the ducks". You quickly swerve round as a toddler in stripy dungarees barrels into your leg and continues to run screaming in delight, his mother runs after him shouting a hasty apology over her shoulder. You feel something wet and heavy on your leg and realise with great disgust that the toddler had been running with a half-regurgitated biscuit in his podgy fingers, the biscuit which is now all over your trousers. You sigh dejectedly, still holding the remnants of the soggy snack in your hand.
Disgusted, you wipe the slime off your hand and trudge back to the safety of your bench. To your extreme relief, the couple from earlier do not seem to be there. You take up the familiar position as a young girl whizzes past on rollerblades, sending dust and small stones into the air. You watch as the girl tries to jump up onto the kerb, her foot glancing the edge and her boastful expression turns to one of panic. The girl hits the ground hard, her green knee pads absorbing the worst of the blow. A second girl comes skating past, wobbling unsteadily from laughing, she skids to a stop, more dust shoots up, she holds out a hand to help the other girl up. You smirk, amused, as you realise what is going to happen next. The girl on the ground grins mischievously as she takes the offered hand. With one swift jerk, she pulls the other girl down beside her. A small smile breaks onto your face.
A man joins you on the bench, his hair is cut short and dyed grey so when the light shines off it, it looks like a cold winter morning. He smiles, diverting your attention from the two girls who are lying in a giggling heap on the soft grass. You smile back. The sun is shining brightly, there is a slight breeze, a single cloud sails lazily overhead. You take a deep breath of the clean, crisp air, two, three, you release. You are content. Right here, right now, the world is beautiful. And you, with no purpose but to sit on the bench with its flaking brown paint and enjoy every passing minute. Losing yourself to your thoughts.