One Life - 11.06.2020

She sits on the newly painted, white wooden bench at the edge of a quaint little pond. Above, a weeping willow's delicate branches gently blow in the breeze. Three baby ducks fall in line behind their mother. Each one, taking their turn into the water. The woman watches silently. Sitting properly straight against the back of the bench, her right knee crossed over her left; her hands relaxed in her lap. The ducks remind her of herself, minus one of the ducklings. She has only two children. There's no doubt in her mind that she finally made the right decision for her life. Her one life. Here and now, no matter your beliefs, they all have only one time around for right here... and right now. The only regret she has was waiting so long. Maybe, if she had done it in her thirties, or dare she dream, to have been smarter in her twenties. But, no. She would have only had one duckling of her own. Yes, it would have been perfect in her thirties. The woman is starting to internally feel her age. Nearing her dreaded fifties, people tell her it's all in the mind. She doesn't even look her age. Unavoidably, this has created a paradox. She is able to enjoy the company of many exciting younger men, but it is a fleeting situation. The only consolation she tells herself is - 'at least I helped make them better for the woman they do keep'. She leans forward, extends her right arm and tosses a few seeds into the water. She watches as the mother duck shows her babies to eat. Sitting back again, she muses that the 'fish in the sea' have become more like this pond. Are there even fish in a pond? Or only guppies? A passerby looks curiously at the woman on the bench as she lets out a little laugh from the thought. Not even a river or a stream, huh? She thinks. At least she did it. Better later than never. She wonders how many people stay in an unhappy marriage. How many men and women choose to waste their one life on the judgement of others. Maybe it's like her. They make a vow to stay with this person at the tender age of twenty-three. But, my god, she smirk's to herself; most human's frontal lobe, the one that makes the logical decisions, doesn't completely form until 30, or even after. She has been traveling since she divorced. She knows now, who exactly she is and for the first time, she loves her. No unwanted compromise, no yelling, no eggshells to walk on. Yes, there are times she is lonely. She may even cry in the dark, but then she can smile again in the light. A small space for tears is a world superior than a life time of sadness. "Mom!" A beautiful girl, almost twenty, waves towards the woman on the bench. "We're ready whenever you are." The woman smiles big and waves back at the girl and the tall, teenage boy walking beside her. At least... at the very least she knows her children have learned from her mistakes. But only because she fixed them.

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