The shadows of your long day are lengthening. The evening breeze cools the heat of your disappointment. You sit down on a park bench and lean back closing your eyes. You take a deep breath. You are disappointed. The words you heard were painful. You feel angry. A single tear slides down your face.
You open your eyes and look ahead to see a figure sitting on the bench across the pathway. You didn’t notice him before. It’s almost like he was waiting for you. His presence is daunting and yet you are almost glad he is there. He looks at you with a twisted smile. “Had a tough day?” His scratchy voice catches you off guard.
“Yeah, it’s hard when you feel betrayed by a friend.” You surprised yourself by being so open with a stranger.
With a chuckle he stands and walks over toward you. “I had something like that happen in my younger years. That one conversation was the beginning of a painful time. And it was because I didn’t do anything about it. I let it go. I forgave her. And now I wish I had gotten my revenge. She got the promotion and ended up moving to the Florida coast. And I . . . well I’m here with you.”
Silence fills your conversation for the moment. How did he know what you were thinking?
The stranger sits next to you. His nearness feels comforting and yet, your heart races.
“I wish I had tried to take her down and made sure she got what was coming. I would have peace about it now. I would guess you didn’t deserve what she said.”
Again, silence. You are at a loss for words. But you feel the anger rising up. You are wondering if you want to live for the rest of your life regretting that you did not exact revenge. Do you dare let this go and cower out of it? Forgiveness seems like a weak escape.
You notice that the sun has set and darkness has invaded the park. The park lights illuminate the path out. And there you sit, pulled between the desire to stay there in the dark or to walk the path of light.