Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Park Bench

  Come Sunday morning, the matchstick man bought a newspaper, a chocolate heart (wrapped in red foil), and walked to his favorite bench in The Park of Lovers

There, amidst soothing birdsong, and romantic music drifting from the bandstand, he would read about the crazy world and its people who made headlines, all the while, neatly nibbling on his chocolate heart.
Then, one Sunday morning, approaching his bench, he saw that it was occupied by a Fat Lady – literally, a lady made of fat! She sat looking straight ahead, half melted in the autumn sun. 

The matchstick man was most upset to have his routine thwarted by this glistening figure.
He coughed, ‘Urk! – and then returned home.
The following Sunday was much of a repeat. Except, in place of the Fat Lady, sat a Barbie Doll, staring out at the duck pond. It was a most off-putting sight. And so the matchstick man returned home.

  ‘Urk! Urk!
Autumn leaves fell and matchstick man stayed away from the park. Then, came the darkness and cold of winter.

‘Surely, no one will want to sit in a cold, damp park today,’ thought the matchstick man, as he returned there one wintry morning. However, when he arrived at his old spot – there, on his bench, sat a young woman, reading. Stiffly upright, she could easily have been made of wood, herself. But she smiled and shifted away from the centre when she saw that someone else wanted to sit down.
‘If I do not accept her polite gesture,’ he thought, ‘that would be most impolite of me.’
With that, he sat down and opened his newspaper. For a while, the two were silent. Once or twice they looked up when a noisy crow flew overhead. Then, slowly . . . but powerfully, the urge to unwrap his chocolate heart overcame his shyness. The red foil crinkled, which drew a sweet smile from the young woman. 

‘If I do not share of my chocolate heart,’ he thought, ‘that would be most discourteous of me.’
So he asked her if she might like to share his precious heart. Indeed, she would . . . very much.
That winter, the matchstick man and Lily (for that was her name) met every Sunday morning to read and share an inexpensive chocolate heart, wrapped in red foil.
Then came the first day of Spring . . . and a mystery that was to remain with him forever.

 Arriving a little late, the matchstick man was surprised to find the bench empty – except for a copy of love poems lying where Lily had always sat, waiting for him.
Confused, he sat down . . . opened the book and read the note that fell out:
I love you – Lily.

By Niki Daly, posted with kind permission.

1 comment:

arcadia said...

Dis baie cool ;-)

Veral die vrou gemaak van vet. Yeah!