The Man on Bench Number 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about the encounters of a man sitting in a bench in a tourist destination. A tale of human behavior.

Submitted: December 13, 2013

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Submitted: December 13, 2013

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THE MAN ON BENCH NO. 3
It was a beautiful day, indeed awesome. Not to say much of the beauty, the waterfall roared down exceptionally heavy. The greens all around the place were on their most. The tweaking of the birds blessed the place with enormous harmony.
The sky suddenly changed dull. The sun his in the cloaks of the clouds and soon, the birds too hid into their huts. The place was full of visitors as usual. Everyone chattered about the beauty and a mere some conversed about the weather. It all went unnoticed and soon it became duller. The first rain of the year begged fall. Everyone looked for joy, and then it began as a haze.
The first drop fell on the shoulder of the man sitting on the bench number 3. A beautiful position, the bench faced directly the waters which fell deep into the gorge. The fencing in between was short, yet protective against the massive water.
The man threw a gaze over his shoulder and then back over the water. A cool, wet breeze flew over him every another moment. Some vapors had already wetted his left cheek since an hour. He was sitting on the bench for almost seventy minutes. People entered the place, sat on the wet soil, praised the beauty, ate and left. But he didn?t bother to make any special movement except gazing hungrily on the water falling deep. Nothing had changed except the visitors since he sat on the bench.
A man came and sat by his side. He had some sort of roll curled in a newspaper in his hand, some cream oozing out of it. Some of the mess sat on the corners of his lips and sparks of cream on his chin.
„Hi!? the newcomer said enduring the complete silence of the first, after sometime.
The first, with the old continuous smile on his face, turned towards the newcomer. He had even not noticed him sitting in there previously.
„Hello!? said the man, smile stretched all over his face.
Silence flourished back. The newcomer felt awkward for the ignorance given by the man. Gathering back some courage after a few seconds, he turned back to the man.
„I am Jake Miller, first time here, from a lot, lot distant place.?
The first man increased the tension of his smile a little and got back to his ground state, not bothering to say anything. Jake Miller continued to stare at his face and then started locating the beauty and again. Another two minutes and he got some courage back.
„It is beautiful, isn?t it?? Miller said again, receiving nothing more but a nod as a reply.
Jake Miller went into a clash of mind. He couldn?t endure it anymore. He was confused whether the man tried to insult him or he was taking him to be inferior. The beauty surrounding him couldn?t perish the dilemma. He continuously tried to come to some answer about the silence of the man.
„Your~? Miller stopped before saying another word. The first word was feeble well to go unnoticed by the silent one.
Miller?s expression rotted another degree. He tried not to become violent against the man, who didn?t even turn his face towards him.
“Maybe he thinks himself to be of better quality than me,” thought Miller. “OR yes, this one does fit in his case. He is handsome, his hair is well kept, his face has a suiting shape, his color is of royalty and his hat is princely. He is a royal man. He thinks its awkward to talk to commoners. He would see the waterfall and then bring a gun with a
long barrel and shoot the birds here. These royal princes, they are not supposed to use their position in that way.”
The conclusion was not furious. The long white feather on the black hat of the man cast a charm over his personality. His face was roughly triangular and neatly white. The hair which left the custody of the hat was dumped over his scalp as if his head was meant only to suit his hair. He wore black robes and a cotton black pajama, white stripped.
Out of rage, Miller rose off the bench and heaved towards the spring-roll seller standing with his tall a few meters away. The man didn?t bother looking at Miller leaving the bench as well. Miller took a bite of his roll and reached the roll-seller.
„See that man sitting there,? said the obsessed Miller to the seller. „That on the third bench.?
The seller nodded, selling a roll to a couple, the man of which lapped their kid.
„I know,? the seller added after ridding off the customer. „He?s sitting there for almost an hour. Six men and a young girl all have rushed away from him in just… just five minutes almost sitting with him.?
„Didn?t he say anything?? Miller asked. „To me, he didn?t. Just… just a hello, one abrupt, which ends in a quarter of a second.?
The man still sat quiet like a dormant volcano. The smile constant.
„No,? the shopkeeper replied. „I mean to all, except the young girl, he didn?t say anything. Only a hello, I suppose any wish, particularly not hello… Hello!?
A lady entered asking for three rolls. The keeper turned all his attention towards the new customer.
„Anything else, Madam,? he asked, readying the rolls for her.
„Yes,? the lady said in a feeble tone. „Would you tell me where is North Skepe? I am dying to go there.?
„Oh!? the keeper said, Miller watching his expressions. „The beautiful beach, Madam! Its beautifully beautiful. You would need to go right from the Celeska highway, just after the Angle?s Pride Hospital and then a signboard would guide you to the place.?
„Its sweet of you,? the lady left.
„Need not mention it, beautiful lady,? the keeper said, receiving a blush from the lady.
Miller turned his look back over the man, who still was gazing severely on the waterfall. The keeper counted the coins that the lady paid and looked for anymore visitors.
„Your rolls are delicious!? Miller said, having the final bite.
„Thanks,? the keeper turned towards him. „Where was I??
„Something about the man. He did say only hello and something a young girl came and~?
„Yes! He did… He gave a dollar to the young girl but didn?t talk to her too. He said to that girl to eat something probably because the girl trailed directly to here.?
„Oh!? Miller began back after pondering upon the keeper?s words a little. „I was right than.?
„What??
„This man, he thinks that we all are minors or inferiors. See him, his face, his hair, and especially that hat. He is a royal man, and to show his riches to the young girl, he gave her money. To show us our inferiority, he didn?t talk to us.?
„You, he didn?t talk to you, not us!?
„By us, I mean all of the seven men.?
„Well, I have another theory,? the keeper began after sometime. „I think.?
The keeper busied himself back into his business for five minutes. This time, it was an old woman who used a cane to walk.
Miller gave a cruel laugh as the lady set back.
„How much will she live more?? he said, taunting at the white lashes of the woman.
„I doubt even a year!? keeper replied.
At that point, the man on the bench number 3 rose. His legs were stiff and healthy. They moved slowly in the rush of the public. He moved forwards and stopped at the low fence. Miller and the shopkeeper gazed at the sight, without any blink. The man admired the cool water as it fell into the deep gorge just a meter away from him. He saw up into the sky. A small group of flamingoes flew towards their water and then a baby flamingo, struggling to join the group flew forwards. The flamingo tries its best but was continuously set back. Miller and the keeper looked at the man, hungry for any further action. Both their faces depicted the ones of a bored moviegoer.
The man brought his sight down towards the beautiful waterfall. Before anyone could feel his needs, he jumped through the fence and then into the deep gorge. No sight of him for anyone anymore.
„At least the woman lived up to that age,? the keeper said.
********


© Copyright 2020 Prakhar Pandey. All rights reserved.

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