Park Bench with a View- Original Short Story

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Hey fellow book lovers. I just stumbled across this story that I had to write for one of my creative writing classes. I figured I would share it with you guys, I think it’s pretty cute and sweet. Hopefully you guys like it as well! The assignment was to find picture and write a story that corresponds with it. Let me know what you think :).

Park Bench with a View

This is where we met, and this is where we came for the last day we spent together. Now, I come here twice a year, on the anniversary of that first meeting, and the anniversary of the day she departed. It gives me comfort, not only because it reminds me of her, but also because I feel like she is still here with me.

We were together for fifty-three years, and so much has changed in this world, that it feels special to have this place that has remained pretty much the same for those fifty-three years. We came here for lunch some days, we brought our children here to watch the sunset, and eventually we brought our grandchildren here to enjoy the view as well. This was our spot, and funny enough, we had never once seen anyone else sitting in our spot when we arrived. It’s as if this place was secret, just for our family, just for the times that we needed to get away from the real world, take a breath, and enjoy the view.

The day that we met, I sat down to tie my shoes after I had been walking for quite a while, and she just happened to be seated right here, eating her lunch and watching the birds land on the trees in the canyon below. She was quiet at first, but I could see her sneaking quick glances at me, sizing me up, I’m sure. I was looking at her too. She had on her white nurse’s shoes, and a dingy blue nurse’s uniform. She looked worn out, and I bet this was the only spot she could get some peace of mind, before having to return back to the hospital, to take care of more than one patient at a time. The funny part was, we didn’t even talk that day, not one word was spoken between us. The reason I came back the same time the next week, was to see if she would show up again, and there she was, in the same shoes, and the same dingy uniform. This time she had a smile on her face, I think she was hoping I would show up, too. Lucky for her, I was a lonely man, straight out of the military. I didn’t have much going for myself back then, but I was strapping, and I knew how to make the girls laugh. Anyway, that’s a story for another time. That day I spoke to her, though I was a little shaken, I said, “What you got there, turkey on rye?”

I don’t know if I thought this was going to make her giggle, or make her happy that I was so observant, but she opened up. “Yes, it is. I bought it from the deli down the road. Would you like half?” And after that day, on the anniversary of our meeting, we would go down to the deli on the corner, and order a turkey on rye. It closed quite a few years back, but before that it was a sweet delight to be able to share that with this lovely woman.

I bet you’re thinking that this is where I asked her to marry me, too, aren’t you? Well you’d be wrong. See, she was the one who asked me to marry her! I know, it’s funny, back in those days it was almost unheard of for the woman to ask the man for his hand in marriage, and I was actually ashamed to admit that for quite some time. I guess I was just taking too much of my sweet time trying to work up the courage to ask her, so she took it upon herself. Of course, I said yes, but when she pulled out the ring, she handed the box to me and held out her finger. She bought her own engagement ring too! Later on in life, I bought her one to replace that first ring, but she still kept it in the jewelry box to remind her of how we began. One of the things that I loved about her, was that when she knew she wanted something, she would go get it, even if it was a stubborn man.

When she got sick, it was one of the most tragic days of my life. We sat here and talked a lot about God, and the after life, so she knew where she was going, but for me, I was afraid to be in a world with out her. I hadn’t been with out her in so long, that I really didn’t know how to act. Who would remind me to get toothpaste or bread at the store when we were running low? How was I going to remember where I put my eyeglasses without her telling me? All of these feelings came crashing down on me, and one day I told her everything. She was about six months into her treatment at that time, and she was doing okay, but not great. We knew she didn’t have much longer to live, and I wanted to just let her know once and for all how much she meant to me. So we came here, we sat down with our turkey on rye, she didn’t eat much, but it was the thought that counted, I suppose. I explained to her that she had given me the most beautiful years of my life, that with out her I would still be that lost young man, wandering aimlessly, sitting on park benches when I got too tired to walk anymore. I thanked her for giving me three beautiful children, who gave us nine lovely grandkids. Her pregnancies weren’t easy, so I really wanted her to know I appreciated all the hard work she put into them, plus she made some darn cute babies, which helped. I apologized to her for all the times I wasn’t the best husband, in our younger days when I used to drink too much and come home too late, or the times when I was working two jobs to provide for our family and I would get upset at her if the house wasn’t clean when I got home. I look back on it now and realize that stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is the people that you share your life with, making them happy, fulfilled, and making sure that they enjoy their lives as well. Anyway, here I go on a tangent again, what my point is, is that after I told her all of those things. The truth about how I felt. She seemed to be at peace with life, and that night she passed away. In my life, I have seen death, I was in the military after all, but never had I seen it this close. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. When she took her last breath, she smiled, and I knew she was seeing the face of God.

Now that I know my final days are coming, I sit here and wait. I wait to be reunited with the one person that made my life complete, and I know that one day she will take my hand again, and we will walk together. Maybe we will even find a park bench with a view, on the other side.

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