The Bench

Jason sat on his favourite bench. He often slept here and would retreat here during the day for peace. More difficult in the busy summer but early in the New Year it was perfectly quiet. He saw a smartly dressed man approaching, he noticed his navy blue suit, white shirt and pale tie. Most of all he saw his shoes – loafers with stripey socks.

‘Do you mind if I sit here?’

‘No, of course’ Jason was less than pleased but didn’t show it. There was an empty bench just before, why hadn’t he taken that.

‘I have seen you in the city centre with your street art, it’s really good’

‘Thanks’

‘Do you make good money from it? the guy hesitated clearly regretting saying this ‘I mean, you know, enough to get by’ he smiled.

‘Depends on the weather, are you social or something’

‘God no, sorry I didn’t mean to offend you it’s just you are well dressed for a guy on the streets’

‘None taken’ Jason just looked ahead.

‘Where do you sleep?’

‘Here’ the guy was now pressing his buttons ‘look mate enough questions, it’s none of your fucking business’

‘No it’s not, sorry’

‘Are you hitting on me or something, I don’t do rent you know’ Jason couldn’t let it go ‘don’t come to my bench with your poncey suit and flash shoes and question my life’

The guy didn’t move. ‘It’s not your bench’

Jason turned to look at him for the first time. Saw his face instead of the clothes. ‘Sorry I didn’t mean to get angry’ then some recognition ‘hey, do I know you?’

‘No’ the guy got up and walked away. He had bottled it.

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