Short Story: Part 1 of my Novelette

The Tales of Yesterdays

I told myself that would never come back to this place again. This place is riddled with displaced emotions. It’s a place that haunts me yet it still welcomes me with open arms. Begging for me to allow it to be my comfort, then it swallows me and sends me down a never-ending hole. I look around at this nothing. Nothingness that is filled with all the terrorizing thoughts that manifests themselves into the people closest to me. How is it I keep finding myself here? Every time the reason is different. I just keep getting lost and wandering back here, to this place. It’s my Hell, if there is even a Hell. How long can I keep running from my past? I’ll run until the ache that cripples me in every other way, the ache that bounds me to this spot, dissipates. Only I’ve been running for years. Almost a decade. I just need that glimmer of hope, sign of promise, hell, I just need a dust of something other than the sorrow that has become my genetic makeup. 

A woman approaches the bench I’m currently parked on. Her aura is bright. I’ve not seen anything like it in a while. She looks like the type that would pass by a man like me and not notice my existence. To my dismay, our eyes met. She looked at me with such astonishment, as though we have met before. I can’t imagine that we have. I’d remember her, I’m sure of it. Nonetheless, her lips part to talk to me. To ME.

“Hello! How are you?” She asks.

A simple question. A question that means so much to a guy like me. A question that I hadn’t been asked in a while. Not here. Not in this place. She asked it with so much concern, concern for a stranger that won’t impact her life in any way. I have no idea what to say. Do I tell her the truth? That I feel out of sorts, I feel lost, I feel helpless and hopeless. Do I just lie and tell her “I’m ok”? She’s just being polite after all. 

“I–I’m doing” I managed to let the words slip out. 

She smiles at me. Her voice is as kind as her smile, singing to me as she continues to speak. 

“Do you mind if I have a seat next to you?” The woman asks as if she needs my permission claim the space on the bench. 

“Oh yes of course. I certainly can’t stop you.”

“I suppose not,” she chuckles.

She sits down and takes a deep breath. It’s as though she can effortlessly soak up the sun that was blinding me moments ago. I watch as her chest rises and falls as she sits with her eyes closed. My gaze isn’t in a way of lust. I’m simply mesmerized by her essence. There is nothing too special about her look other than her kind smile. She is very plain but somehow she is so captivating. Then again it could be the fact that she is the first woman who spoke to me directly in years. Yes, other women have said things to me, but it was more like, “excuse me, you are in the way” or “do want anything else with your burger?”. This woman, however, she wants to speak with me. 

“The weather is friendly today. I’ve been feeling down because of all of the rain. It’s nice to have a break from it.” 

“Yes, it has been a bit relentless this week,” I reply to her. 

“So you never answered my question.”

My mouth quivers from me trying to keep it from hanging wide in dismay. She’s talking with me like we are old friends catching up for the first time in months. I don’t even remember her asking me another question. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean. What did you ask?”

“ I asked how you were doing.” She repeats.

“Oh, I thought I answered you. Did I not?”

“No, not really. ‘I’m doing’ is hardly an answer. How are you really?” She asks again.

“I’m sorry, do we know each other?”

“No.” She opened her eyes and looked at me. She is very peculiar. She continues to stare at me, awaiting my answer. 

“I–I’m doing well today. How are you?”

“I’m doing pretty well, thank you for asking. I’m just taking the day in, you know?”

I ‘m beginning to realize why she is so mesmerizing. She reminds me of one of the most important women to my existence, my mother. My momma was like no other. Growing up, my momma was my best friend. I turned to her for everything and that drove my father up the wall. 

“Hey, where’d you go?” The woman’s voice snaps me out of the trance.

“Oh I’m sorry. I was thinking about my mother. You remind me of her.”

“How so?”

~ To be continued

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