The Bench


Take me back to that day when I was five years old.

I want to think it was cloudy. I want to think it was raining. I want to think there was a sign, because that’s what would make sense to my brain, created to set scenes as heartbreakingly poetic as possible. And maybe there were clouds and rain, but I can’t remember them. They were unimportant. Because weather is just weather and much too great to care about human foolishness, so bad things happen on sunny days too when it’s twenty-something degrees with no humidity and light breezes running through the leaves.

Take me back to that day and erase it from my history.

I was happy not knowing that things break. It wasn’t so important to protect myself then, not important at all. The world existed for my convenience, as it does for every five year old. So when he said he was leaving, I asked him not to. Obviously not a ridiculous request. And then he left anyways. Suddenly the world wasn’t mine anymore. Things break. And it hurts when they break. Because they’re supposed to. I didn’t know they were supposed to. I didn’t want to live in a world where there were things that hurt and people just kept going like that was normal procedure.

Take me back to that day and make me forget.

Apparently I was spoiled when I was six years old. It was probably because I was an only child, they said, and too used to getting what I wanted to know that that wasn’t the way life worked. Honestly, I disagree, I knew I couldn’t get everything I wanted. Because I wanted parents that didn’t leave.

We were reunited later on, sure, but I don’t think I trusted him or anyone else really. Why would I? I was a smart kid, I learned from experience. My experiences didn’t give me cause to trust anyone.

My dad would work at nights. He’d wake me up in the morning and take me to the bus stop. Then he would sleep and then he would wake up at three to come pick me up from the bus stop. One day he didn’t wake up on time. I was taken back to school and made to wait outside of the office while they called my father. When he came, I immediately started crying at the sight of him.

You see, I didn’t know, until I saw him, that he was actually coming.

I’m fairly sure that they told me he was.

Deep, deep down I’m still six years old and still waiting on that bench. I don’t know that anyone’s coming. I don’t know that anyone will stay. I just…don’t know. And it’s so much harder when (if?) they don’t when you believe they will.

When the world has shown you that things won’t happen just because they’re supposed to, when the world has taught you disappointment is normal…how do you just bypass that?

Take me back when I was five years old and make me forget.

I’m so lonely.

I don’t want to be alone anymore. And until I believe that someone, just one person, will come back to the bench and outstretch their hand I always will be.

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