the weird chick

She Watches from the Bench

March 3rd, 2010


A vision of beauty wrapped in cellophane, she sits by the river, alone. The slight breeze blows her hair gently as he watches. He sits by the road on an old, dirty bus bench, waiting. She stands as a man approaches her; he watches from the bench. She smiles as the man talks to her; he watches from the bench. The sun hangs low in the sky, surrounded by the pink and orange glow of sunset, as the last bus for the night rolls to a stop by the bench. The door opens to an uninterested man sitting on the bus stop bench.

“You getting on, then?” the driver asks. The man sits and stares, paying no attention to the driver or the bus. “You know this is the last bus,” he adds. The man sits and stares. Annoyance on his face, the driver closes the door and the bus quickly disappears down the road.

She sits again, with her back to the road and her face to the river, and the other man sits with her; he watches from the bench. He sees her reach for the other man’s hand, and he sees her lean on the other man’s shoulder. He sees them stand, and he sees them walk away, her hand in the other man’s.

A vision of beauty wrapped in cellophane; his hand rises to his chest. It hurts. He first saw her just two days ago, sitting on the edge of the same river, alone. The scene played out much the same: he was waiting for a bus to take him home, and she walked down the road, heading for the river. She sat along the edge, and was approached by a man. For all three days, the same occurred; the only change being the man who would approach her. For all three days, he never saw the same man twice. But she always dressed the same, and she always sat the same, and she always reacted the same to all the men who came up to her: smiling and sitting and appreciating the beauty of the river at sunset.

He appreciated her beauty. Long hair, light in colour, taking on a subtle pink hue in each loose wave under the glowing sky. She is tall and thin. Her clothes drape loosely but nicely, and she walks away on beige woven sandals; he watches from the bench. As she and the other man turn off the road and slowly drift out of sight, he chooses to follow. She walks down a residential street; he watches from a distance. She stops in front of a house; he watches from a distance. She talks lightly with the other man; he watches from a distance. She walks to the door; he watches from a distance. She steps inside, as does the other man; he watches from a distance. There is another bus stop, and he sits. The door closes behind her; he watches from the bench.

Every day went the same. She met someone new at the park, would talk for a little, and then would walk to this same house. He didn’t know her well – perhaps these men were all friends of hers, and not strangers she had just met. But every day, she would meet someone at the park, and he would watch from the bench. And every day, she would walk home with the man she met at the park, and he would watch from a distance. And every day, she would allow the man into her home, and he would watch from the bench. Her curtains were always shut; he wished they would be open so that he could watch, though they never were. She would stay inside for hours; he would watch from the bench.

Late at night, she would leave, alone, and walk along the street; he would watch from a distance. Her walks would trail off into the woods; he would watch from a distance. The sun had set this night, and he sees her walk out the front door. She wears new clothes, and drops her keys as she tries to lock the door. Her hands tremble as she puts the keys into a bag, slung low over her shoulder. She turns from the door, walks down the steps, and goes down the sidewalk towards the forest trail.

She walks quickly, frequently looking behind and to the side; he watches from across the street, hidden by shadows. The street lights end quite a bit before the trail begins, and she walks quicker, disappearing into the dark forest trail. He maintains his distance; he knows where she’s going. As he steps onto the trail, he can hear her walking further down – the rapid crunch of quick feet over dead leaves. He steps lightly, rather quietly, sure she can’t hear him over her own noisy walking.

And suddenly, the crunching stops. She stands still; he watches from a distance. He can just make out her vague silhouette, though it isn’t needed. He knows where she is – where she is every night. Silently, he approaches, and hides behind a tree. She looks around her; he watches from the tree.

Slowly, she calms, and sits on a large rock; he watches from the tree. Every night she comes here; every night she sits on the rock; every night he watches her, more entranced by her beauty than curiosity over her behaviour. She simply sits there, staring off into space – or perhaps her eyes are closed; he cannot tell with the low lighting – in silence. He simply watches.

Tonight, though, he gets an urge. She looks so beautiful sitting there under the silver moonlight, fractured by the leaves and branches above, and he feels compelled to move closer. He wants to be closer. He needs to be closer. Without a thought at all, he steps forward and snaps a twig.

Her head jumps up, and quickly looks around. “Hello?” she asks, voice low and quivering slightly. Slowly, he moves back behind the tree. He wants to answer, but he can’t. He wants to move closer, but he can’t. She’s too beautiful – she is untouchable for someone like him. The compulsion to approach remains, though he stays back.

Soon after, she leaves in a hurry. Quicker than she ever did before. He doesn’t follow yet – he waits for the footsteps to quiet a little. He follows from a greater distance now, and just barely glimpses as she runs into her house. He sits across the street on the bench for a short while before leaving for his own home.

A vision of beauty wrapped in cellophane, she sits by the river, alone. The slight breeze blows her hair gently as he watches. He sits by the road on an old, dirty bus bench, waiting. He crosses the street, walking slowly towards her. The compulsion remains from last night, and now he sees no reason to ignore it. He stands behind her, and reaches a hand out to touch her shoulder, jerking it back just before he does. She sits, looking over the river, while he stands silently behind her.

“Hey,” he says quietly. Her head turns quickly, hair flying over her shoulder. She looks up at him through eyes a deeper blue than the river they were watching.

“Hi,” she says, smiling.

His chest hurts as his heart pounds; his stomach tightens and his knees twitch. Her face is stunning – perfection. They talk – him nervously, her casually. She smiles at him – just like he watched her do with all the other men. They sit, facing the river – just like he watched her do with all the other men. She reaches for his hand, and leans on his shoulder – just like he watched her do with all the other men.

“Would you like some tea, or coffee?” she asks. He nods silently. They stand and leave – just like he watched her do with all the other men. At her door, she smiles as she reaches for her keys, and after she opens the door, she lets him in – just like he watched her do with all the other men.

Her house is immaculate; the tiles have slight reflection, and nothing is out of place. He follows her into her kitchen, and sits at her table, staring at her. The urge strikes again as he watches her reach for a glass in a high cupboard, again as she pours the tea into the glass, and again as she sits down across from him. She smiles at him as he takes a sip, and smiles as he takes another. She watches as he drinks the glass, and calmly pours him another – watching as he sips at that one as well. She smiles and watches as his eyes slowly begin to drift shut.

His head throbs, and his eyes burn as he tries to open them. With blurred vision, he tries to look around: all he can see is a dark room with a swinging light, vaguely illuminating an array of reflective lumps side by side on a shelf. Straining to see clearer, he stares through the pain at the lumps, eyes slowly focusing and adjusting to the lighting. She sits across from him, smiling sweetly and innocently. He can’t move.

Looking up again at the shelf, he can see more faces, though none of them as sweet or innocent, and certainly none of them are smiling. Staring back at him from the shelf is a collection of men’s severed heads, wrapped in cellophane.

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