By: Gabriela Yareliz

It had been a rainy day and the bus was delayed. I was the only one waiting for it. Maybe the transit people somehow knew it was just me and decided I wasn’t worth stopping for. Idiots, I thought to myself. I looked around me as if there was some hidden camera recording my ennui. No camera, and still, no bus. I looked down at my brown boots, the tiny yellow leaves carpeting the concrete below. As I looked down, I heard the sirens at a distance, and then closer, and closer, their red glow was the only bright light apart from a dull street lamp that was struggling for its life. I caught the reflection of the bright lights on the metallic silver tape striping a disfigured orange traffic barrel. I was exhausted. I glanced over at a shop two storefronts down. They had outdoor furniture, scarecrows and mums decorating the sidewalk just in front. I eyed the chair and decided to claim it for the time being.

I walked over as if asking for a favor, glancing back furtively. Still no bus in sight. I grabbed the plastic green chair that was on display and sat down. I dubbed it my public bench. I relaxed into the plastic that was hammocking my bottom, and moved my backpack to my lap. I was now part of the display. Night had fallen early, reminding us that winter was on its way. The mums shone like little suns we had felt absent during the overcast rainy day. On that cool autumn night, they warmed me somehow. They seemed to smile sympathetically, offering an apology for the weather, and I accepted their humble offer.

[Fiction inspired by a scavanger assignment for my Autumn Light (Beth Kempton) writing course]

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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