A bench, wooden and rickety and always breaking as we pretend it’s a ship, a car, just a bench. My childhood was spent on this bench, it started off as a barrier; ‘don’t go past the benches’ my mother would say, to stop me from wandering too far out of sight. It then was a base for 1,2,3 relivo, it was where we sat to make daisy chains on the green grass, or where we would all pretend wrestle using the bench as an arena. This bench was where I was care free, where I laughed with my friends, with my family, and reality was not a concept I understood.

It’s where I realised I am no longer a child, drunken walks at 1AM because no one even realises I am gone and I find myself on the same bench. Looking at the stars, tears dribbling down my pink cheeks and my breathing is uneven with every sob that escapes. I can’t pretend anymore, reality is in the way and I sit there crying, over the future, over the past, over a boy who knows I don’t even know myself.  The only pretending I do is that I am okay; I am not broken despite the clear evidence that I am shattered.

1PM, playing in the sun jumping from the bench in glee and joy and anticipation of the life ahead of me, waits to accept me.

1AM, curled on a bench, looking at stars suffocating from the feeling of why, what, when will it get better when will I feel like a complete jigsaw, will I ever?

It’s not just a bench.