Abandoned on a Bench.

This post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people or events would be just plain weird.

I was hanging out in a back corner of CVS when she found me. I don’t remember why she was there. All I know is that when she saw me, she stopped, stared, and stayed glued in place for an unreasonably long time. I was enamored when she took me home with her.

Instead of using me, she just laid there in her bed with me. Sometimes she had her arms around me; but most of the time I was lying on top of the dark fleece blanket beside her. The ceiling fan wasn’t making any noticeable sound, but it swayed swiftly from side to side as it fought against the high speed setting.

She talked for hours, like I was an old lost friend. She needed someone to talk to. She had so many things that she wanted to let out. She didn’t want to feel so alone. She knew that their had to be other people out there, in the world, just like her, looking for someone to talk to, looking for an outlet. There I had been, almost just like I was waiting for her, right there in the back aisle of that unnaturally quiet CVS.

This didn’t turn out to be the whirlwind love affair that I thought it would be, though. Then again, maybe it was, and I was just too dumb to understand. She spent about a week with me, and then she left me. I swear it was on purpose. I remember it like it was yesterday; she left me on a bus stop bench in Biloxi, Mississippi.

I was so stunned. Why did she leave me? What was wrong with me? It was so wonderful… but it was so short. I had hoped for so much more. The wind blew salty warm air across my jacket, and I shifted on the bench. Maybe if it blew hard enough it could carry me off into the ocean, to slip beneath the surface forever, destroyed by the dark liquid and angry fish.

The sun went up, and the sun went down. I never left that bench. I didn’t want to. I really had nowhere better to go.

Then, just before the gas station lights turned on, the bus pulled up to the bench. An older man shuffled out of the doors as they were still opening, stiffly slumping down the steps. He looked suspiciously to the right, as if he was worried about being hit by a car, and stepped from the bus to the curb. A hard day’s work must have wore him down to the bone. He couldn’t have been far from retirement.

I had a tiny bit of hope as he ambled towards the bus bench. I wasn’t sure if he was headed towards the bench or towards me. It was towards me. He put both arms out, as if he were going to give me a hug.

Then he gingerly picked me up in his hands and lifted me up close to his face. He sniffed my jacket. That made me a little uncomfortable. I was nervous about what would happen next.

I needn’t be worried. In fact, the next thing he did made me heave a sigh of relief. He lifted up my jacket then, after remembering he couldn’t read, put it back down for a second. His left hand fumbled in the right breast pocket of his t-shirt and produced a pair of CVS-brand reading glasses. The older man shook them open and placed them gently on the bridge of his nose. Then he lifted my jacket again.

The older man’s bushy eyebrows raised up about a foot as he squinted at what he saw under my jacket. “I love you,” he said. Wow… I wasn’t sure I was ready for this. Then I realized he was reading.

“I don’t know who you are, but I love you.
I didn’t just buy this notebook for myself.
I bought it for me, and you, and many other people.
I hope that you can be reliable.
Choose one random page in this notebook
And put whatever you want on it.
Write a poem, draw a picture,
Or tell me a story.
It can be real or imaginary.
Then take this notebook
And bring it back to a bus stop bench
For someone else to find
And fill with their own bit of love.
If the stars align just right,
I’ll see this notebook again one day.
I hope when I do, it is filled with love.”

Wow. I was blown away. I had no idea that she had loved me that much. She had entrusted me with not only an incredible message, but also with a mission. I felt so lucky to have been at that CVS just at that moment.

I wondered if she had filled up another page in the notebook herself.


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Author: Susan Pitman

Susan is an artist who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Texas. She writes songs, short stories, and books. You can follow @kitykity on Twitter.

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