Sara Persson: Memorial Bench

She decided on rum-raisin. Not a conventional or even very popular flavor but perhaps that was why she liked it so much. She, herself, was not conventional nor had she ever been particularly popular.

The cone was handed over to her, money was exchanged and she muttered a thank you before taking all the coins, placing them in her wallet, putting the wallet back in her purse, closing the zipper and the clasp while the vendor patiently was holding out the now slightly melting ice cream cone to her.

She made sure her purse was secure on her arm, took the cone in her right hand and her walking stick in her left and left the kiosk carefully and slowly, making her way down the path towards the lake.

She reached the bench and sat down with a grunt and a deep sigh when her ample bottom reached the wooden planks. She took another lick and gazed out over the water, noticing but not really seeing all the activity on the lake. Her thoughts continued to wander.

This was where it all had happened. This was where her life took such a dramatic turn. This was their spot. The one where they met whenever she was back in town. It was a place of refuge, a place where to reminisce.

For forty long years she had loved her. And oh how she had loved. It had been a secret love, a forbidden love. Not only frowned upon by society and convention but also by the fact that she, her one true love, had been married.

She had tried to get away from it, from herself, by escaping to far away places around the planet, accepting job after job. Never staying long in one place, only until the kitchen was up and running as per her standards, then she left it in the hands of whomever was in charge.

She had gained a reputation of being, quite frankly, a pain in the ass and difficult to work with but also someone who could fix the unfixable, make the unworkable work and create harmony in a kitchen.

Those days were long gone now. She had retired after the arthritis became to painful. It was not fair to her employers and also quite the nuisance for her self to be honest. She had acquired quite a nest egg at this point and decided to move back to what once was home and to be close to her one true love.

It had lasted less than a month.

They had met one afternoon at the bench, each with a cone of ice cream in their hands, sitting quietly together licking the ice cream and holding hands when suddenly she felt the hand in hers go limp. She looked over only to see how half her face looked as if paralyzed and she was muttering blurry words with no meaning. She had tried to stand up but fell over straight away.

The ambulance arrived quickly but there was nothing more for her to. She could not go to the hospital nor could she visit her at home.

The only thing she had left was her bench and her memories.