The Bench (3)

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Do you know I’ve had to sit on that bench most days for the last forty years.   It looks very grand doesn’t it, but between you and me it’s not very comfortable.  I suppose it shouldn’t be too comfortable.  I’m told it’s made from mahogany which is a very hard wood.  It certainly feels very hard, increasingly so.

I gave a young man ten years today.  He stole a TV and a laptop.  It wasn’t even a good laptop.  Ten years for stealing a poor laptop.  I didn’t want to do it, just like I didn’t want to give five years to a different chap yesterday and fifteen years to a man the day before.  I didn’t want to do it. The thing is I don’t make the rules and so round and round it goes.  I know the ending to each one of those stories and they haven’t even been written yet.  I am the man who writes terrible stories day after day and I can’t change the endings.

So I am going to try and write a different ending for you.  I ask one thing of you.  Look at this face.  Really look at this too old, too fat, too tired face.  And if you’re ever tempted to go down the bad road that brought you to me picture this face.  Remember it belonged to a man with aching bones and a tired face who tried to write you a better story and then handed you the pen.  Use it well.

Author: Anna

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