Анастасия Андрюшина

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Анастасия Андрюшина

A little blue bench

 

A little blue bench was standing in the park. While she was standing there she saw a lot of different people.
One autumn day a girl came and sat on the bench. She was of middle height, wearing  a dark blue sports T-shirt and black trousers. The sun came out of the clouds and its sharp rays started to cause discomfort for the girl’s eyes. The girl pulled sunglasses out of her red sack and put them on.

The bench had an eavesdropping skill, she could listen into the thoughts of those who were sitting on it, by tuning to the frequency of  their thoughts. It was one of the entertainment activities that the bench could experience.  So, this time she also tuned to the frequency of a stranger and found out that her name was Janna. She had curly red hair. Sun rays touched her hair giving it a bright red hue. Her face was covered with freckles. Janna did not like the freckles. Once she even tried to get rid of them, but failed. However, these ginger spots matched her lively character. Freckles were peppered all over her face in erratic manner, as if someone had scattered grains over the table. Besides ginger specks on Janna’s face there was a small nose. Under the nose there were plumpish lips.

Janna had almost pulled a book out of her sack, but she could not finish the intention. An old man was passing by and of course he decided to sit on the bench near Janna.

“Well, Jannochka, here you are, you can forget about peace and rest now,”-thought the girl to herself peevishly. “I am sure sooner or later he’ll start a conversation about the old good Soviet times telling me that during the Soviet times there was this and there was that.” However, the old man was sitting calmly and looked at the mountains. Blue sky and sadness were reflecting in his eyes. The bench tuned to the frequency of the old man’s thoughts and knew that he was thinking about his past. He was recalling how he was spending lively time with his wife and kids.

Janna took out a book and started to read, but the thoughts about her bench neighbor haunted her.

She decided to look at him out of the corner of her eye. The old man was wearing a grey suite and dark shoes.  He did not have a big belly as the most old people of his age had. The old man looked at her, sight and asked: “Why are you sitting here alone?”

“I am not alone, I am with the book.” Janna showed to him a blue book. On the cover of the book was depicted a magician with the fire ball in his hand.  Near him there was another magician who released a fiery butterfly out of his hands.

“Books are good, but I meant people.”

“People?” Janna was wondering: “What do I need people for?”

“What do you need them for?” now it was an old man who was wondering, “to share thoughts.”

“The thoughts of people do not always coincide. Sometimes constant misunderstanding makes you stop sharing your thoughts with the others,” the girl responded. “I am better on my own.”

The old man took of his peaked cap and passed his hand through his hair. Janna looked at the head of her neighbor  and saw that the hair was half grey, but thick, accurately combed back opening the broad forehead

Janna asked: “Why are you alone?”

“My name is Konstantin Grigoryevich, and yours?”

“Janna.”

” I am alone,” the man continued, “because my wife died.”

Janna did not know how to react on that, she pressed out: “I am sorry.”

“So, how do you deal with your loneliness?”

” I was not aware that I should deal with it,” Janna responded. ” I’ve never thought about that. I watch movies, TV-shows, read books. Other people fall for work, hobbies or sport.

They buy more and more things trying to fill in the hole in their souls.”

“I see that you are a philosopher,” Konstantin Grigoryevich noted, smiling.

“Just a little bit,” responded Janna. “I do not fight with my loneliness, I just live with it.”

“I did not learn to live without my Zina. We lived together for almost 52 years. I still cannot get used to that she is gone. Sometimes when I sit at home it seems to me that she’s left to buy bread and be back soon.”

“And where are your children?”

“Children left: my elder son lives in Russia, my younger son lives in Germany. I am wondering-we fought with the Germans, and now our children live there,” he sight.

Janna answered nothing, but thought to herself: “So much for giving a birth to a baby. You spend your time, efforts on them and then they leave you all alone,” and said, “that’s why I believe no matter what a man does he is always alone.”

“You are wrong! When Zina was alive I did not feel loneliness and emptiness in my soul.  Before I met her I was lonely, after I wasn’t. Yes, now I feel lonely without her, still I have my memories. She had curly golden red hair, freckles like you do, and good temper. I believe it’s better to live your life with someone and then miss him when he is gone rather than to live your whole life alone. You are just a coward”. The old man rose to his feet and said:” I gotta go, Janna.”

“Probably, Janna, you are a coward after all,” she thought. The girl also rose to her feet and left for the bus station.

The bench stayed in the park open to snow, rain, sun rays and human thoughts. Oh, she was the one who knew what the real loneliness is, since she could only hear the thoughts of the others, but she couldn’t share hers.