A lonely bench waits for lunch time when it feels alive again. At 12:05 on the dot two women sit on it. One of them begins to cry. She waves her arms in circles while her spit reaches three feet ahead of her. The bench stirs in the movement and feels the tremor of the woman’s legs as she speaks. The other woman sitting by her, listens and eats. On precise moments the listener sighs or gasps in disbelief. The first woman lists by order of bad to worse every detail of the hours before. She leans forward to show the attitude of her enemies and jumps up with her fist tall. She confesses her wishes to stand up and say what she thinks. At 12:15, they hug. Her tears refresh the bench. The first woman dries her tears and pulls out her lunch to eat. The second woman crosses her legs, leans back and takes in a deep breath. She stretches her arms wide to express the first words she heard today. She uncrossed her legs faces the other woman with a hand on her hip. She wags her pointing finger and rolls her eyes. The bench moves forward an inch hoping for a lift as the speaker’s anger rises. She continues to sway her hips and hold out her arms to prove the weight of the day on her shoulders. The first lady nods as she eats her meal. The second lady finishes her time with a question, had she done wrong? The first shakes her head. The time 12:25 and as they hug one more time they look to each others eyes, they can overcome the day. The bench watches them leave and inspired by their love decides today she will stand regardless of what the wind or rain say to her.
Author note: I often see as a woman how much criticism we experience on a daily basis and we need a listener to bounce off the negativity and encourage us. On a day when all things go wrong the friend that listens, though a hard task, relieves the speaker’s tight and wounded heart. Could you be the listener regardless of the advice that yearns to come out? or How do you respond when unsolicited advice is given freely but you were not heard?