The Statue by Iulian Ionescu

I would stop every morning in the park, on the way to work. Not to eat, not to exercise, not even to admire the nature. I would stop to talk to her.

First I'd drop both kids at the school, nicely dressed, lunch bags packed, hoping each day they'd be learning something other than hitting each other. Then I'd take a little detour, some half-way between the school and my job, to get to the park.

A few times I'd find my bench occupied, so I'd circle up and down the path, hoping it would free-up, giving up after about fifteen minutes. Other times I'd find it empty, so I'd sit down, lean back and stare at her for a while. Long, wavy hair, straight shoulders, and a tight dress. Just perfect.

Then I'd tell her about the kids. I'd tell her everything-- their progress, the new wacky things they did, all of it. I'd tell her about the Sunday brunches with my mother, and all about the neighbors. She'd listen, patiently, looking back at me in silence.

Today I sit on that bench again, staring at the empty pedestal in disbelief. The statue is gone, just like Jessica.

I get up and put one last bouquet of flowers at the base of the pedestal and, as I wipe a tear away, I realize I am finally ready to tell the children their mother is never coming back.


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