And so she would sit. On the worn timber bench, under the shade of nearby Oak trees. This bench held great significance for Helen. It was where Jim had proposed. Their Sunday stroll through Hyde Park had taken a romantic turn when Jim got down on one knee amongst the gaze of avid sunbathers and picnicers.

They had jumped on the 373 directly after, celebrating their next chapter together over a bottle of white along Coogee Beach. That was almost 36 years ago.

She fidgeted with her pastel mac coat and made sure her face was covered from the sun beneath her white linen hat. Helen liked this spot, not only because of its skeletal significance but also because Helen liked to people watch. Every Sunday she would sit down on her bench and gaze at the families and young couples laying among the grass and flora.

She would laugh as nearby parents teased their impatient toddlers and attempt to hide raised eyebrows when her gaze fluttered to younger males that appeared to be frequent fitness fanatics.

But mostly Helen would cry. She would cry for Jim. Cry about his passing and how the bench felt lighter without his tweed covered self resting beside her. She could feel him, engrained in the wood. Her thumb worn from tracing along each whorl.

She would let her emotions erupt from her chest and wash down her body. And once the last tear had shed she would wipe her eyes and dry her hands against her floral skirt. She would get up slowly from the bench and walk away from Hyde Park, and the spirit of the man she loved so dearly.

“See you next week love..”
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