The Park

The Park

A Story by Prototato

This is a writing project I got for my senior year; I apologize for being so dead for so long. I look in my alerts, and I have 553 read requests... Hopefully you guys enjoy this. It was last-minute

The most unsettling part of the experience was the loneliness. I felt relaxed,
yet my body twitched and my soul convulsed as the silence of the area burrowed deep into my mind. I was inwardly conflicted, one moment hoping someone would walk by and the next hoping I would remain alone. Worse than this, though, was attempting to fend off stray thoughts threatening to congeal and manifest into a beast - thoughts that have haunted me for at least a decade. I looked for something, anything to snap myself back into reality, away from the shadows and demons lurking behind my essence and past. I had already become attuned to the feel of the stiff, cold park bench, accustomed to the sensation of steel meeting flesh in an odious fight for thermal dominance, lending no aid in distracting me from those grisly ideas. The gray sky reflected the impossible bending in my state of mind, clouds rolling and shoving past one another, all scrambling to get away from whatever it was they were escaping. The trees, deprived of nutrients for months, aided in the depressing mood of the area; if any leaves had grown on them since the ‘technical’ start of spring, they had fallen off and shriveled by now. The wind wove its way between rust-speckled monkey bars and the cracked plastic of half a dozen slides nailed to rotting wooden platforms before it finally rustled through my long, unkempt hair, whispering inaudible sights and tasteless scents to force my mind open.

Although, it never did take much to pry open my thoughts; I’ve never been able to keep myself from thinking of anything and everything, especially when debating the best course of action. My decision is always based on variables varying from implausible to certain, and all possible outcomes are considered as though it would actually happen; this is a pet peeve I can never look at in a positive light, considering I even annoy myself when it happens. I’ve been told it will be helpful later in life, but some part of me refutes that. I heaved a sigh, finally giving in to the roiling concoction of unfathomable distress and mental duress placed against myself by thoughts both mine and not.

I sat and contemplated, among other things, how much I wished someone could just be here with me. This would nullify my whole reason for being here and thrusting myself into the situation, though; bringing another person would make this a fruitless endeavor. I felt like holding myself in my arms - not out of the chill in the air, what with the frigid temperature slowly seeping into my light jacket, gradually morphing the steel zipper into a torture device for my trachea. I forced myself to sit still, to calm the mind that wouldn’t stop, to be the immovable object for this unstoppable force taking over this experience. I figured I’d do some soul-searching, seeing as it would both distract me from the silence and provide an extra use for the experience.

Then she showed up, if only for a moment.

She contrasted the gray sky with her dull white jacket, slightly worn and
sporting no symbols or design of any sort. Her hip-length black hair seemed to be more unkempt than my own hair, and she wasn’t wearing any makeup, which was a pleasant surprise. It soon became evident from her jeans, which were shredded at the knees and torn in several places, that she simply didn’t care about her appearance. Her walk wasn’t one of pride or shame. It wasn’t casual, nor was it anything normal for the average person. She walked as though there was a strain on her back - as if she had killed every individual tree in the area, turned every cloud gray and made every person leave this place before I could observe anyone. I couldn’t help but stare, though out of sympathy, curiosity, or fear, I cannot say. Her shoes were ripped at the seam on the toe tips, the harshly stained and faded silver shoes no longer sporting a brand logo. She walked with her head hung limp, almost as if she didn’t have the energy to make it stay upright. At the moment, I was filled with self-loathing, but upon seeing her, my chest erupted with emotions. I wanted to run up and hug her, to run for my life, to say something, and to simply shred myself apart, to show her that I was just as broken as she appeared. She slowed down as she passed by the path nearest the bench, most likely feeling my prying eyes on her, and looked up to give me a dry smile. Her eyes… I never even noticed their color. All I saw in her eyes were the cascading emotions she felt - despair, depression, anger, and yet hope still remained. I couldn’t move at all, even though I could count at least a thousand things I’d want to do at that moment. I felt intense remorse for not giving her a smile back, and after she walked away, I could feel my spirit rending itself in half, attempting to shred through logic to access emotions, one of many things I cannot handle well. As she shuffled away, hair whipping behind her from a sudden onslaught of wind, I felt myself choke up. At that moment, I did something I hadn’t done for a long time. I allowed myself to choke up, and I wished I could cry. Something far more painful happened instead.

The tears never came.

© 2019 Prototato

Author's Note

I was assigned to sit in the park for half an hour and simply observe without being creepy, and take note of all activity that happened. I only saw one other person. This is the story I came up with based on our brief interaction.

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WOW!! Your writing has improved so much in a year! I thought you were doing great things last year, but WOW!! This is great. It has depth and dimension. It's moving and it flows. And the descriptions!! Kudos. Keep writing, 'Tato! I'm proud of you.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on April 23, 2019
Last Updated on April 23, 2019
Tags: the, park, the park, prototato, protato, memoir, assignment, essay, short, story, short story



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