The Bench

I don't remember since when I have been here. Now I am a part of this landscape, this beautiful riverside. The world has changed so much, right in front of my eyes! Across the river, a swanky township with tall skyscrapers came up rapidly. I don't really know what lies on the other side. There used to be a lot of trees there, but the concrete jungle swallowed the green trees. At night, the beautiful shining lights light up the sky and their shimmering reflection in the river water create a heavenly atmosphere! This mesmerising sight attracts huge crowds every evening. I get to meet new people and hear a new story every day. I also see children growing up into young people and then growing old. I see life and death. I see tears and smiles. I see togetherness and separation. I see joy and grief. I see friendship and animosity. I see love and hate. I see everything. I see, watch, observe - silently, quietly. I offer a moment of rest and respite to the weary. I offer company to the lonely. I don't ask questions or judge. I just hear them out without interrupting and I offer no advice. An invisible shoulder to cry on, an invisible hug of acceptance... I'm a tiny part of every person who came to me and spent time with me, shared their feelings and emotions, their spoken and silent thoughts and made me a part of their lives. They may or may not remember me but I don't forget anything so easily. Today this girl came and sat looking at the lights shimmering in the river. She hugged me like I was a person and told me that I was her happy place! She said I was her favourite bench and the only one to make her feel like she belongs somewhere, like she had a special place in this world where she is welcome anytime, no matter what! I make her feel like a queen.

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