A man was admiring this young lady for a while and has been infatuated by her. She always sitting on the wooden bench across the street from his favorite diner … Sunnyside.
He felt today is the day for him to gather all his courage to speak to her. He gulped down his coffee and straighten his tie. He had tipped the waitress handsomely and grabbed his suitcase beside him. He had never felt so good. It’s like spring has awaken in this crisp winter air and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The young lady humbly reads in her book, unaware of the man approaching to her. He casually walk towards the young lady and he smile, that one hundred Watt smile, at her.
He said hello to her.
She was startled at first and she glaze at the man who is beaming at her. She smiled at the man in his business attire and said hello back. The man gesture if he could sit down and she agreed with a nod of her head.
My name is Steven. How are you today?
The young lady’s eyes was transfixed into her book ignoring Steven. He felt defeated and taken aback by the young lady lack of reaction towards his politeness. He was about to attempt to asked her on what she’s reading…when he realized her lips were gray…not only just her lips but her eyelids, nose, and ears as well. He felt the urge to asked her if she’s cold that he could provide her his business suit to shield from the ice prickling cold of winter. Suddenly, she looks at him straight into his eyes and smile happily.
Thank you for noticing me. Now I can move forward.
She stands up and walk away from Steven without given her name to him. He was confused on what she meant and more puzzled by the passerby who didn’t notice her walking by. He was about to chase her when all of a sudden his legs wouldn’t move. He try and try to move them but they would not budge. He looks up to called out to the young lady but she had vanished into thin air.
Impossible! She can’t move that quickly!
The streets are grand and spacious. It is impossible for her to disappear, let alone hide somewhere. Steven struggle to get his legs moving when he realized that his whole body was glued onto that Ebony bench. He looks around the bench and noticed a plaque on the middle of the bench that the young lady’s back was hiding it.
Notice one, become one.
Patiently waiting, to set free.
Just a simple hello, then a grateful goodbye.
Steven felt shivers going down his spine and realized what he had done. He had spirited away the young lady but he thought of it’s preposterous.
Then why can’t I move?! How long will I sit here until someone noticed me that I’m stuck?!
I waited for over 12 years before you noticed me. I wasn’t tried to be rude to you, Mr. Steven. I didn’t want you to suffer the same fate as I did. I just wanted to sit down to read my book and I noticed an old lady knitting in the middle of the walkway. I said hello and, as you did to me, I asked her if I could sit down. She just nod and I asked how beautiful the sky was? in that fateful day until she got up and bow to me with a ‘thank you, Miss’. Before I could return the gesture, I realized I was bounded by that bench. Never to see my family and friends ever again until now. Unfortunately, my whole body and soul had been spirited away. Don’t worry…it will be painless. You won’t notice that you already died.
A disembodied voice of the young lady respond to him. Steven went limp and moan in disbelief of his biggest mistake. He will be waiting for minutes, hours, days, weeks and months. He didn’t want all the season gone by as he waited.
How hard can it be for people not to notice me?! I mean I am alive after all.
The bench is an entity in itself. No one will notice a bench in a random location that is sorta off. There will be a time people will passed by on where you are sitting. You will scream all you want for help but no one will notice you. Trust me. I had tried.
Steven scoffed at the nonsense of not being noticed by people not hearing him either.
Oh come on! The waitress noticed me walking over here to talk to you. So I don’t need to worry myself.
Unfortunately, that’s impossible. That’s when I need you to heed my warnings before I disappear completely. Don’t go to sleep or you will be relocated from your original home. Don’t lay on the bench or else you will be trap there without anyone sitting on that bench for all eternity. Don’t beckon anyone or….
The young lady voice trails off like a wisp of smoke. Steven asked for her to come back. No response. He felt that he’s dreaming and he needs to wake up. He went mad calling out for help to anyone near him.
1 year later…
Steven tried to sleep as much as possible to conserve his body from being expired. Sadly, he relocated from his original place four hundred times while he was asleep and sleeping while sitting proven to be very uncomfortable. The Ebony bench always took him in a desolated place where there are few people.
He was about to doze off to sleep until he heard children playing near by. A little boy trails off from a group of kids. He noticed Steven beckoning him to sit down next to him.
What harm could it do?
The little boy was almost there until Steven let out a sickening moan. The little boy backs up in horror and terror of what had happened to Steven and he ran away crying towards his friends.
Steven started to molt and stretch like no other human being had ever done before. Every piece of his body becomes that of the bench and his groans of pain become creaks of a new bench in the process. Steven realized, to his own demise, that this is much painful than being spirited away. Now he had wished to heed the young lady’s warnings.