By Doreen Njue
As I walked on the sidewalk I saw it
The bench… That bench… My bench
There was a number of them in that court park but for some reason I chose That One
And I never sat on another since
Because that bench knew all my tears, felt all my fears, heard all my hushed curses
It never said a word but it was always there, silent and non judgemental
The first time I walked through this park, I was broken
The first time I walked through this park, I was crushed
The first time I walked through this park, my world was caving in and my hands had grown tired of holding up because each second that passed was pain and torture
The first time I walked through this park, he had reduced me to a sack of smithereens
And that was when and how I met this bench
“It was never right from the beginning ” he had said. Those words darted back and forth in my mind
My heart ached, my heart bled, my heart cried
What did he mean? Why didn’t he speak up sooner?
So what, all this time I had been a fool?
Giving it all, sacrificing my comfort, being the shoulder to cry on, being the listening ear, believing in fantasy?
So it was never right from the beginning…
I dragged my feet. My body felt like a log. My head swam. My eyes were puffy. My heart was worn out
I felt that I had to sit… On the park grounds, in the middle of the path, under a tree, anywhere. Anywhere… I just had to sit
So I spotted a bench. This bench. I sat there and stared into space. I didn’t cry. I was empty. I was not sure if I was even alive at the moment
I sank into the calmness of this place
I wanted to think everything through but I couldn’t
I had no strength. So I hugged this bench. And spent my night there
Every day, I came here
I processed my thoughts
I listened to my heart
I argued with my brain
I sat on this bench
With time, I realized it was all worth it
That giving all I could was the best that I could have done
That I was not a fool
That I was human
That I loved
That maybe I lost… But I gave it my all
And isn’t that the best feeling in the world?
Knowing that you lost but you fought?
So tonight as I walked by and saw this bench, I smiled
Because here… On this bench, I had found myself