The Bench – Ava

Ava slid into her usual place on the bench.? She and the bench were good friends.? It was her favourite place in the park and she objected if she couldn’t be alone.? She liked the peace of that particular corner of nature and it was the perfect place to think.? Even though it was on a path, few people went along this one and it was rare that she was disturbed.? Somehow, when the sun went down and the night-time animals were about, that was the best time of all.

She couldn’t remember why she preferred this time of day; it wasn’t something she dwelt on.? It was enough for her that she did.? She sat and watched a small rabbit, separated from his warren-mates, move tentatively across the open space in front of her.? She had difficulty remembering her own family; it was a long time since she had been in contact.? She wondered how they all were.

She watched the mist swirl round her and mused that it was a good thing she had her coat on.? It always seemed to be like this when she came to the bench.

She looked down at the small suitcase beside her and tried to remember what was in it.? Clothes, of course, and some toiletries, but what else?? Funny – she’d only packed it earlier that day.? She couldn’t remember what was in it, no matter how she tried.? Was her memory fading?? Ridiculous!? She was still young.? Memory loss didn’t happen to people of her age.

A man walking his dog came into view along the path.? Ava hoped he wouldn’t come past her but she was out of luck.? As he came closer, the dog sniffed around the bench and her feet but, thankfully, didn’t try to jump up at her.? The man walked quickly passed and didn’t even respond to her “Good evening”.?? People are so rude.

A sudden memory leapt into her head.? They did, sometimes,? This one was of a similar time at the bench but it was very faint.? She saw herself, as though through another person’s eyes, sitting there.? Just like now.? With her suitcase full of things she couldn’t remember.? She heard a noise behind her and felt a pain in the side of her head, then nothing.? Strange, how your memory can play tricks on you.

She wondered if Callum would ever arrive; she was bored now.

Light was beginning to appear in the sky.? As the shadows crept across the grass, the bench was empty once again.? Until the night returned.

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