There is no Winner (a fiction)

  Sigh, finally a little peace. My god, all that exaggeration – thought Timothy with a dark and still red(ish) face while choosing a bench next to the green and flowered field between the apartment buildings.

Gorgeous, sunny, warm spring day, air is richly filled with the scents of the many wild flowers and fresh grass growing all over the place. Little spring flowers popped out the ground everywhere; purple, yellow, white, slowly forming Nature’s carpet between four building blocks. Freshly laid down carpet, prepared by caring hands. Trees came alive, two on this picnic space, entirely in white and pink aside from the green leaves decorating in-between. Small singing birds spread the news in the air about a fresh start of life.

Just Tim couldn’t agree with their rhythm, there was nothing happy about his life right now, seeing all of this around him grey, foggy, faded. His mind is trapped in a fight, a stupid fight at home. The third already this month. Will there be more as these? It doesn’t make it easier that he has a very strong competing personality, a load of stubbornness. He wants to win this one. Consequences damned. Not that he doesn’t love his girlfriend, even now he’s looking at their window from this bench. Maybe he gets a sneak peak, what she’s doing…

– Excuse me young man, may I sit a bit here? – Tim was waking up with a slight shock caused by surprise as the old lady appeared next to him with a lightly smiling expression on her very wrinkled, yet warm face. The eyes carefully half pointed to his sport bag and half looking into his eyes. The neighborhood’s friendly grandma, you could call her, thought Timothy. That, if he ever would have seen her actually.

– Oh..I’m sorry…of course ma’am, – he answered politely and bit embarrassed. Not sure because of the bag that meant an obvious obstacle for this incredibly lovely lady, or his own angry thoughts. It would be childish to think that she could sense anything from those. He had to smile a bit about this last thought. – please, enjoy! The gentle old lady rewarded him with a bigger smile, with one which is rare these days: it’s meant. She still looked on his face, even into his eyes as she sat down, like a careful inspection of expressions.

– Gorgeous day, isn’t it?! – she formed the obvious, seemingly very happily – I love this time of the year the most, so much good to sense from life, feel the pleasant warm rays of spring. One just can’t be bothered…

– One would wish… – so Timothy, more to himself, but his voice is stronger than he thought, harder than expected from self.

– Is that so? – looked this entirely in peaceful white dressed lady with honest interest to him. – What could be so terribly wrong in such a God given beautiful, lovely afternoon?

– Nahhh, not worth to mention. Sorry! – he closed the short convo quickly. Or, he thought so.

– Looking at you, and the dark clouding your face, it must be worthy if spoils such a golden day.

– Just a small fight with my fiance – rolled out his mouth, and he had no idea why actually. He never even saw her. Probably that kind, trustworthy face. So gentle. – Stupid little things piling up and we fought about. But they CAN spoil any day!

– Oh, oh, that’s why sitting here, while staring to there! I understand. Trying to think of a good way to settle? Apology?

– Well, surely not! – so Tim, half laughing, more of a sarcastic one – I’m sitting here and waiting in hope of a WIN, no more talks. This time I am the one must win a fight. Even if it’s about chores, which might seem silly, but…Putting my feet hard down on this today!

– And the ones suffering are…you and the flowers. With those feet so hard down. – she risked a slight joke. – I don’t see this strategy making you happy…

– The result will. Probably. The feel of a win.

– Well, you are saying: rather sitting here, obviously upset, angry even, rather that than talking. She is sitting there, probably in the same state of mind. There is moment, you gotta go back, later in the evening. How that will go then?

– Silent. I imagine, a silent evening. Maybe even a week. Or two. Who knows how long, but could be. Depends on how long madame keeps on being the hurt.

– Because it isn’t to assume she could be hurt?

– Couldn’t I be hurt?! – asked Tim, more rhethorically meant

– Did you tell? – now with a real cute curious face the old lady.

– Well…no. How would I, come on?! I’m a man…

– Ahhh! Pride! Known obstacle for ages!

– Mocking me now?! I’m a male man, we have other ways to express things…

– Like sitting on benches, angry…

– Like making a stand, for principes. A cold war. One to win!

– But you love her, right?!

– Yes, love her the most from everyone in my life. We soon will marry. Becoming a family.

– Hah, the contradiction! I have made through war times, but never against those we loved. That is new, even for me. And I am old, that I can tell you! There is no older around than myself, there can be no denial on that!

– She needs to learn it, she can’t always be right. You cannot always be the winner in a competition for power and lead.

– I thought you are partners. You would marry…

– Yes. But that doesn’t mean to give up on me being the male.

– Interesting…

– How so?! – asked Timothy, bit challenging perhaps

– You see, you’re saying, you’re sitting here alone, first, in a glorious beautiful day, dark in anger about something minor chores-…waring, just to make a statement. Silently. Which is difficult. In a WAR, cold war, with the one you claim to love the most from all the people you know. So much, you even marry her soon. But a power struggle about household chores seem to far outweigh that huge amount of love. This might even take longer, as you told, so more glorious sunny days to MISS you could enjoy together. Instead, sitting separate, in cold. Next to an old lady’s chattering about…life?! – she slowly, tired obvious, stood up from the bench while saying the last two sentences. – I have to admire your faith in a WINNING. Or hers, if she would think the same. I have yet to see (and probably won’t have the time for) a war, where a winner is coming out of. On any of the sides, mind you! Especially a cold one, in a warm spring day. Look at those birds on the tree, middle of the field. They have a short, and often, troublesome life. They work a lot, they are prey of carnivores, they have to raise many kids in a short time. Yet, they find a way to stick to it committed, working together, some sorts of them even for a lifetime. They know no wars among each other, but the wins are beautiful: more singing birds we enjoy!

Tim looked into the direction while she said these, focusing strong on those, seemingly dancing, flying, happy looking small birds. They made him smile. Probably also thanks to the commentary came with the view. He just realized, he smiled. First time today. Not just because of the birds dancing, but the words have hit him and the unearthy warmth of the voice told him those. He didn’t even realize the change of her voice ’til now.

He again looked back where the old lady stood, to say something else…but…no lady anywhere. Just a very sharp, far little light lit up a bit, above the horizon. He thought to see, but perhaps just could be the strong sun playing with his eyes. Still, that voice…felt so unreal. Felt so wise and kind, completely out of these times, not belonging in ’17.

Am I getting crazed? Who was she? Did I talk to someone? – he still smiled while thinking. His mind boggled on it a bit, but her words struck in his heart. That feeling was much stronger, so much more. He found all his efforts of anger and pride so infantile. He looked to his home’s window again. Their home. Finally the truth has hit him: their foolish behaviour is a complete contradiction of their love! It is their life what is at stake. This is not some of a childish war game between kids.

He stood up, smiling even more and started to walk. To home. And to this thought, smiled wider and the dark vanished from his face. He felt relieved, enlightened. The feeling when something big gets discovered. A big truth. He does love her.

It will be one hell of a big, warm apology tonight.

He didn’t know, yet, what to say exactly, but the smile he keeps on while going to hug her after stepping in, that’s for sure. After all, we’re soon a family, in our nest. Against the rest.

Can’t deny that.

<Short fiction by: Me>



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