Hahahahaha. I like Potatoes.
I, once again, was sat on the cold stone bench by the lake staring up at the sky. It was going to rain again today, and it was colder than usual seeing as it was still early in the morning. I had found that there was no point in my moping around home all day, so I walked here despite the deep gash on my leg. My eyes then shifted to the lake and I stared at it. The sunlight that was only just peeking through the grey clouds was bouncing off the surface and the sound of insects filled the air. It was calm and serene and cool, just as it was every other day.
Silently, I stood up and walked to the edge of the water where I picked up a little, smooth, stone. I studied it a bit in the palm of my hand before I threw it out into the lake, watching as it collided with the now rippled surface.
“That was a shit throw.” I heard someone laugh to the left of me.
Frowning slightly, I looked over to my left and saw a man standing about half a meter away from me. He smiled at me. And then I realised that he was, in fact, the man from across the lake that I had seen yesterday.
“No offence.” He added as he picked up a stone. The man seemed to study the stone for a bit, running his pale fingers along the worn, smooth surface before he flicked it out across the water. It skipped along the water eight times before sinking. Obviously proud of what he had just done, he grinned at me. “That’s how you do it.”
I didn’t say anything in reply, I merely turned my back to him and then sat myself down on the stone seat; staring out at the water once again.
He sat beside me. “You don’t talk much, do you kid?”
I didn’t answer.
“I don’t blame you.” He sighed, reaching down and picking up another pebble. “If a creepy man dressed in black came and talked to me by a lake that seems to be the hotspot for hiding dead bodies in on a cold winter morning, I wouldn’t exactly talk either.” He then flicked the pebble out on the water’s surface. This time it only skipped four times.
I wanted to tell him that I didn’t think he was creepy, because he’s not creepy, and that’s not the reason why I wasn’t replying. I wasn’t replying because I just can’t talk to strangers. After my breakdown it’s been so hard to communicate with people. I always choke on my words, so I’ve found that it’s easier if I say nothing rather than looking like an idiot.
“Are you ok, kid?” He asked, staring me in my eyes.
That was when I realised that I had been staring at him, well not particularly at him, but at him, so I shrugged, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to answer without stuttering or without speaking gibberish.
The man then looked up at the sky, “Hey. Look at that cloud.” He said, pointing at a grey cloud above us. “It looks like a decapitated bunny.”
I screwed up my face and looked at him, subconsciously asking, “A decapitated bunny!?” And by the time I had realised that I had spoken clearly, and in English, he had already heard me and smiled.
“So you do speak.” He smiled.
Fumbling to catch the right words on my tongue, I mumbled, “O-of course I speak..”
He smiled. “Do you come here much?” He asked. “I mean, you’re always sitting on this bench whenever I’m here.. So yeah..”
I nodded and looked to my feet, not wanting to accidently say something that made no sense. Just because I had spoken fine before doesn’t mean I’ll be able to do it a third time. I gave him a sort of look as a reply instead that implied I was asking the same question in return.
“I come here to draw..” He mumbled, reaching over the side of the seat and picking something up – his drawing book. “Or sometimes I come here when I’m stressed out, which seems to be allot lately, you know, to just relax and stare at the lake..”
“Are you an artist?” I asked, surprised at how well I was speaking.
“I like to think so.” He laughed softly. “But, no. Not yet at least. I’m still in art school.”
“Oh.. So.. You’re still quite young?” I asked.
“I’m not sure if I should take that as an insult of not.” He smirked. “But, yes. I’m still quite young. I turned twenty-two back in April. I’m on my last year of art school.”
“Oh.. I can see how that is stressful..” I mumbled, looking down to my feet.
“And that’s only part of it.” He sighed.
“What else is there?” I asked, looking back to his face.
He was staring out at the lake with his hands in his lap on top of his drawing book. He sighed. “Eh.. It’s stupid..”
“Allot of things are stupid..” I told him. “Take my life for example.”
“You don’t like your life?”
“Not really.. Self destruction and hate seems to be the only path for me right now..”
“It’s true, Self destruction is a pretty little thing. But at your age? I don’t think you should be heading down that path.” He half smiled. “Remeber, a few minutes of anger can ruin years of happiness. You can’t hate yourself at a age as young as yours.”
“You’ve got the face of a stranger but you talk to me like I’m your friend..” I mumbled.
He turned his head to look at me and asked, “What’s your name?”
“F-Frank..” I choked out. “Yours?”
“Gerard.” He smiled. “See. Now we each other’s names and shit. Now we are friends.”
“That.. Doesn’t.. Make us.. What?” I screwed up my face from confusion.
Gerard merely laughed and picked up his bag from where it had been hiding besides the bench, out of my view. Placing his drawing book on the bench besides me before he slipped his arm through the single strap of his bag and then his neck before positioning it by his side and smiling at me.
“I better go.” Gerard smiled. “I’m gonna be in so much shit if I don’t do all the things I’m supposed to do today.”
“What type of things?” I asked.
Gerard waved his hand around in a small circle gesture and muttered, “Things.”
“Ok.. I guess I’ll be seeing you around, then..” I mumbled with a small wave.
“Yeah.” Gerard smiled, walking backwards towards the path. “It was really nice finally meeting you, Frank.”
“Uh.. You too.. I guess.”
Gerard smiled at me once more and then he began to walk away.
Not until he was completely out of my sight did I realise that he had left his drawing book sitting beside me.