Friday 10 August 2012

The bench #fridayflash

He sat, staring off into space. Life used to happen here. Stories had unfolded. Love was shown. He patted the empty space beside him, wishing that she would appear as she used to, her semi-cutting words, "existential angst, my dear Daniel?"
Her earliest words to him, and her last. Who would have thought?
"Dad, what are you doing here? We've been looking all over for you," Henry said, folding his arms, narrowing his eyes.
"Just... thinking," Daniel replied, looking at his gnarled hands, twisting the single gold band. We can make it work... We made it work.
Charmaine pulled away from her father and sat beside her grandfather, nestling into his side, just like Diane used to. "Are you thinking about Grandma again?"
"Just a little. We used to sit here a lot, you know. Just the two of us."
"Just the two of you?"
"Well, just the two of us and God."
Henry made an impatient sound, glancing at his watch. "Dad, we need to go."
"Go on then. Leave me here."
"Don't be difficult."
"I told you before, I don't need to visit her grave. This was where she was when she died, with me in the garden."
"You were in the hospital - "
"In our hearts, Henry. In our hearts." He looked up at his son wearily. "You don't understand, do you? Then again, you never had much of an imagination. Where did you first meet Sheila?"
"What's that got to do with anything?"
"Just tell me. Humour an old man."
Henry shrugged. "The coffee shop down the street, I guess."
"Still go there much?"
"Yea, sometimes."
"This was where we truly first met. You never forget. I used to talk to the trees, throwing out my grouses at God. She'd come up behind me and laugh at me. This was our place. I don't need a grave to remember her. I just need... to be here."
"But Grandpa, other people don't know here."
He sat for a while, gripping the edge of the bench. "I guess you're right, little girl."
"Grandpa, I'm not little! I'm fourteen!"
"Just the age I was when I first met this bench." Slowly, he stood to go.
As he walked down the familiar neighbourhood, flanked by his son and his granddaughter, he could hear Diane's laugh through the trees.
Existential angst, my dear replacement Matthew? You've proved them wrong, Daniel. 


Our show opens tonight.
8 pm
10th and 11th August 2012
Penang Christian Centre.

1 comment:

  1. SNIFF!!! She had to die first?!?

    I was thinking 'THAT'S SO NANA!' when she said 'existential angst' last night..... I couldn't even pronounce it properly in my head! Existentual...existential...

    Nana rocks!!!!!