Here to stay.

July 1, 2012
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Every morning a simple human named Laurie, would walk her self to the park. Every single morning she’d sit on the bench and stay there for three hours before picking up and leaving. Laurie was an unnoticed person; she has a regular job, her own apartment, and a life that had no friends or family. Laurie wasn’t much of a social person but she didn’t mind having a simple life. She didn’t mind not being noticed, she was 19, had never had a boyfriend or any close friends before. Laurie didn’t go to college after high school. She quickly began a job and started off her life. She wasn’t very successful but she made enough money to pay for her apartment and live.

On March 14th Laurie once again walked to the park early at 7am. She sat down in her usual spot. But on this specific day something was different. Across from her bench was a young guy, some where in his 20’s. He was sitting down across from the bench in some patch of grass. Laurie noticed he was drawing something on his sketch book, but when he looked up and saw Laurie his face quickly turned to a frown. He dropped his things and slowly started heading Laurie’s way. Laurie being anti-social quickly started to get nervous.
“Um… I don’t mean to be rude but I really would appreciate it if you would leave the bench for a few minutes, see I’m sketching the bench for art class in my college and with you there I would have to start all over.” He gave a little frown.
“No, I don’t mind at all…” Laurie said quickly gathering her bag and standing up.
“I’m really sorry, that’s why I came here so early so no one would be using the bench, and if you want you can come over to sit by me.” He smiled trying to be friendly.
Laurie being how she is was nervous to accept but nodded her head showing that she approved of the idea. She followed him back over to his spot to see a small square blanket large enough for 3 people, some snacks, 4 different colored black pencils and his sketch book. He offered a spot on the blanket for Laurie she accepted.
“So what’s your name?” He asked grabbing his sketch book and beginning to pick up where he left off.
Laurie swallowed before speaking, “My name is Laurie.” Laurie quickly realized she forgot to ask what his name was.

A few minutes passed by before he picked the conversation back up. “My name is Dean. It’s nice to meet you, how often do you come to this park?”
“Every morning around 7am…” Laurie said peering over his shoulder to see how he was drawing the bench. To Laurie’s amazement the bench looked like a 3-D one from a virtual world. She saw all the details of the nice curves and wooden lines. “Wow…” was all Laurie could manage to say.
He gave a laugh, “Thanks, but you should see the other student’s drawings at my college… Much more professional and amazing...”
Laurie watched him draw for 40 more minutes, when he was finally done shading, putting in details, and a background. By the end of the drawing the bench almost looked identical. Dean turned around and proudly presented his drawing. “Well thank you so much for waiting for me to finish.”
“It was no problem…” Laurie still said in awe at the drawing.
“Well, I better head off… I’ll see you around?” He said starting to place away his things into his bag.
“Yeah,” Laurie said standing up and carefully walking off into the grass, off his blanket. After Dean was done packing all of his things into his bag he stepped off and onto the path. Laurie walked behind him and neatly sat down on the bench. Dean gave her one last smile, and then started to walk off. Laurie watched him walk away then looked at her watch, almost 2 more hours until she also had to leave. But until then she tilted up her head and breathed in the nice warm air. Then watched nature, as if it was gold, not one second where she looked away. She admired for another 2 hours then also left.
The next morning Laurie walked to the park again at 7am. To her surprise Dean was there again with his sketch pad out drawing. Laurie sat on her bench then watched Dean stare at a tall oak tree as he sketched onto his notepad. He turned over to see Laurie; then he gave a quick wave of his hand for her to come over. She grabbed her things and walked over to where he was sitting in his usual spot. She sat down beside him and saw his beautiful drawing of the oak tree.
“So how does it look so far?” He asked.
“Beautiful…” She said bent with her head to the side to compare the drawing to the actual tree.
“Thanks, I see you got here again at 7am.”
“Yup,” Laurie said as she fumbled threw her bag.
“Hey if you want I got some snacks over there,” Dean said while pointing. “Help your self.” He smiled to let Laurie know he really didn’t mind.
After 55 minutes Dean finished his drawing. During his time of drawing Laurie had talked to him about his college, her job, their families, where they grew up from, and almost everything there was to talk about in 55 minutes. Dean laughed and almost didn’t want to leave. Laurie, like yesterday neatly stepped off his blanket, and onto the patch of grass. She watched him pack up and then walked over to her bench. He watched her sit down then turned away and started to walk off. He waved good bye and Laurie waved back.
The next morning Laurie again returned to the park at 7am, she found Dean there again. Laurie started wondering why Dean had started going to the park almost everyday, earlier than her. Of course he had his Art project but did he want to draw everything in the park for it? Laurie went over to her bench but before she could sit down he called her over. She turned around and went over to sit with him. This time he was drawing a robins next that was hidden behind some branches in a tree trunk. He was barely started but she could see the lightly drawn outlines of the picture. This time Laurie and Dean talked for almost an hour and a half. Once he was done, he once again left, Laurie sat on her bench and they said their good byes.
The next morning Laurie completely skipped her bench and went strait over to Dean. They sat down and talked for nearly 2 hours today, his drawing was over detailed and beautifully drawn. At the time it was for him to go this day was different, “So… I was wondering; do you have a cell phone?”
“Yeah, I do… would you like my number?” Laurie asked politely.
“Yeah that would be great.” Dean gave Laurie his cell phone so she could type in her number into his contacts.
He waved to her goodbye and then left, she sat down on her bench and left after an hour. That night Dean and Laurie talked on the phone for nearly 3 hours, then texted until 1am in the morning. Laurie learned about his favorite color, his birthday, he was 22 years old, he has 3 younger siblings, he lived in an apartment 10 minutes away from hers, and learned one of his greatest fears.
The next morning Laurie arrived to the park at 7am, this time Dean wasn’t there so she took her seat on the bench. At 8am Dean arrived and apologized, He explained that he slept in. Laurie smiled and helped him set out his blanket and supplies. They began talking more and more often, about person things, secrets no one else knew, their past, and what they hope for in the future. At the time it was for Laurie to leave Dean gave her a small hug and she left. They texted again for about 7 hours, the next day Laurie arrived at the park already spotting Dean awaiting her. He was angrily ripping apart papers. Laurie quickly ran over,
“Dean, Dean, What are you doing?! You are ruining your work!” He turned around completely red. He quickly walked over to Laurie and wrapped his arms around her. She hugged him back, he squeezed her tightly and his breathing started slowing going back to normal from huffing and puffing. They stood there for about 10 minutes before Laurie asked shyly,
“So what’s wrong?” careful not to make him angry again. He sat down on the blanket and she sat down next to him. He stared at his shoes and slowly spoke.
“The girl I loved broke my heart…. I found her cheating today, so I left quickly… She has been with me for 5 years… And that’s all I guess…”
Laurie was too shocked to speak; she wasn’t good at socializing and not at all good at giving relationship advice. “So what... are you going to do?” she managed to pry out of her mouth.
“Well, I think I should break up with her… but I’m not sure how…” He gave a weak movement to pick up a piece of his ripped art.
Laurie stood and started picking up the damaged work, the wind had already carried away many pieces but she saved a lot. Dean watched her for a minute before also standing to pick up his damaged art. After gathering an armful Dean walked over to the public trashcan but before he could get 4 feet close to it Laurie yelled, “Wait I want these please!!” She ran over to him opening her bag. He gave a confused look before dumping his found artwork pieces into the bag.
“Why would you want these?” He asked.
“I’m going to save them, don’t worry.” She smiled as she zipped her bag shut. Dean went over to sit down with Laurie following quietly behind him. She talked to Dean about his girlfriend and asked him if there was anyway she could help.
“Well, we lived together… I need to move out but I don’t have anywhere to go. If there is any possible way I can sleep at your apartment for a few days until I find a new apartment that would be great.” He smiled pleadingly.
“Of course you can stay with me,” She gave a smile and they sat there for a few hours until Laurie had to leave, except this time taking Dean with her. She showed him her humble apartment; most of it was empty beside some furniture and a few belongings. She had an extra room for Dean to use. He smiled and thanked Laurie. Laurie usually used that room to store old things she no longer used, but that was only 2 boxes. That night Dean and Laurie stayed up watching movies and talking until 2am. Then they both left and slept in their own room.
The next morning Dean woke up at 10am, he got up and went to Laurie’s room to find a note on her door. It read, “Went to the park, will be back at 10am” After Dean Tore the note off Laurie walked in threw the door.

“Finally awake…?” She said as she dropped off a bag onto the counter.
“Yeah sorry that I wasn’t up in time to walk with you to the park,” He said smiling.
“Don’t worry about it, I got us some breakfast.” She opened the bag to reveal donuts and chocolate milk.
“Reminds me of when I was a kid.” Dean said jokingly.
“Well I can’t cook so this is all we got.” Laurie said as she set it out.
They sat down to eat but before Dean could take a bite he said, “I promise to pay you back for all this, I get my pay check in a week, I can pay for the time I stayed here and for all the food costs.”
Laurie was in the middle of chewing a donut when she responded, “No really,” She swallowed, “Don’t have to worry about that I got it covered. I have my job today around 12 so I should have to get ready soon.”
“No, it’s a promise to my self I’ll pay you back, and my job is at 1pm so I’ll be leaving by then too, then im going to stop by at my apartment to pack my things.”
“Okay, I got a spare key I’ll give you.” Laurie replied after eating another donut and sipping some of her chocolate milk.
After all the arrangements were done, Dean was moved in by 3 days with all of his things, searching for a new apartment. After a week pasted Laurie brought up an idea, “Maybe, you should just live with me… You don’t have to I mean it’s just a thought.”
Dean gained a shock that Laurie offered. “Okay well I’m still going to pay for my own food and rent.” Laurie agreed and helped Dean unpack.
After 2 more weeks of Dean walking Laurie to the park, he finally asked. “So why is it that you walk to the park everyday?” Laurie stumbled to answer this…
“Because, when I was a kid I ran away from my foster home. When I ran away I came here, and when I came here I sat on that bench for 3 days and 3 hours before they found me. So it’s almost a habit to come here now, one that I haven’t broken since I was 12 years old.” Dean nodded at the answer and continued to walk with her everyday to the park, after a month Dean decided to ask…

“Laurie we’ve been good friends for awhile, I hope you won’t mind this but I was wondering would you go on a real date with me…” Laurie’s heart skipped a beat at the question. But in the end she ended up getting ready for the date that night. Dean was already gone and made clues for Laurie to find where the date was at. He left a note on the table saying, “Where we go everyday.” Laurie quickly knew the spot where it was held, the park. She walked to the park to find Dean in a slick suit and a nice candle lit dinner. They sat down on the same usual blanket and ate a nice dinner; they laughed and had the best night of their lives. When Laurie and Dean walked home and into their house Dean went for a kiss; Laurie not having had her first kiss was too surprised to move but quickly feel into movement. Her lips locked with his and they quickly understood each others movements. The next morning Laurie woke up next to Dean lying next to her with his arm around her. She smiled as she listened to his breathing and felt his warm skin next to hers. Laurie looked at her watch and saw it was 6:49am, she had to get up soon and head to the park, but she enjoyed the last few moment of him with her before getting ready.
She found him awake staring at her when she was done dressing.
“Morning,” He said sweetly. Laurie smiled at him,
“Going to the park, do you want to come?” He stood up and grabbed his clothes. After he was ready they both arrived at the park at 7am. He had his sketch book in one hand and Laurie’s hand in the other. They sat down in their usual spot and he sweetly asked, “Laurie would you mind if I drew you?” She smiled and said, “No of course not, go ahead.”
He took out his pencil and drew for 2 hours, Laurie only slightly moved during the whole time. He showed her the drawing and was proud of his work; in the drawing was a confident, lovely, amazing girl. Laurie stared at the drawing then lightly kissed Dean. They lied down together for another hour before going home, Dean got ready for school as Laurie got ready for work.
When Laurie got home she found the lights off and Dean no where to be found, she called him over and over. But he didn’t respond. She started to worry once it was 9pm. He didn’t respond to anything and he still wasn’t home. Laurie then got a call the next morning at 5am.
“Hello,” There was a sniff, “Is this Laurie?”
“Yes this is; who’s this?” Laurie asked.
There was a silent pause, “Laurie we have some bad news,” There was some crying sounds before another spoken word, “Dean he… He got mugged last night, he got shot in the chest, and it hit his lung. He is dead.”
Laurie was too shocked to speak or move. She let a silent tear flow down her check. “Where, is….” Laurie couldn’t find the right words.
“This is his mother… We are planning a day for his funeral… We want you to be there to say a few words.”
Laurie heard more crying and sniffing. “Yes.” She only managed to say before they hung up. Laurie sat in silent for a half an hour before letting out wails of pain and tears. She left the house at 7am to the park and ran to the spot they had laid down, the spot that was always theirs. She laid there for 3 hours. Crying silently and thinking how this all was happening. She didn’t go to work she returned home and 4 days later the mother called back.
“The funeral is in 1 week. 6pm we will be saying a few words before they lower him into the ground.”
Laurie hung up and began to cry again, she had no one to cry to, and no friends, no family, and her everything was gone. She stayed home for days only leaving to the park every morning at 7am. She then left for the funeral. The day she went everyone there was in black, crying, and blowing their noses. Laurie joined their crying for 10 minutes before she got what she had left of her act together. She met the mother and Dean’s siblings. They all weren’t much younger than Laurie.
“He said so much about you…” The mother said before starting to cry again. Laurie watched at the oldest brother now began to pat her on the back trying to comfort her. They left leaving Laurie to sit down. Once the priest left the front, the mother went up to say her few words placing one rose on Dean’s chest. The mother then looked to Laurie who walked up after her.
“I want to say, Dean was my first friend, and first boyfriend, he was the first person who came into my life and changed it to something better… He was an amazing artist… He was someone who won’t ever be forgotten by anyone here.” Laurie then pulled out a piece of paper that was taped together. She held it up for everyone to see before she folded it then placed it beside Dean. The paper of the bench he sketched when they first met, Laurie had managed to find all the pieces and tape them the best she could back together. Laurie looked at Dean one last time before leaving the front of the stand. She watched for hours as others went up and said their respects and then watched as everyone left one by one. She watched as Dean’s casket was lowered into the ground then wiped away one last tear that fell for him. She sat near the ground he was buried under for 3 days and 3 hours before finally leaving to go home. Everyday she returned to his grave at 7am. Then left at 10am… Everyday she would lie down next to his grave on his blanket and stare at the sky. She quietly whispered “I love you” every single time she came.

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