Nobody wants to go near me anymore

by Lydia Zervos
Lady seated beneath a tree

George Goodwin Kilburne, “Lady seated beneath a tree by the river bank” (1879)

Nobody wants to go near me anymore.

People used to like me, they’d sit next to me on a park bench, they’d smile when they saw me, they were completely comfortable bringing their girlfriends and kids around me.

Not anymore. Not since that awful murder. Now they cross the street to avoid me, and if they do look at me, it’s only with a look of disgust.

I wish I could tell them all how sorry I was.

Sure, nobody blames me. It’s not my fault. They know it wasn’t my fault. But now, they can’t stand to even glance my way.

I’m so lonely. God, what I wouldn’t give to have someone sit down for lunch with me. I took the little things like that for granted for so long.

I had to watch him die. They hanged him, and left before he was even dead. I was the one that saw the life leave his eyes, saw the pain and desperation on his face, and I couldn’t do a thing to help him. Those terrified eyes will haunt me for the rest of my life. I wanted nothing more than to reach out and save him, point the police to the murderers, and see those terrible men put in jail for the rest of their lives.

But I couldn’t. I’ll never be able to. I can’t control where my branches bend, and my leaves can only rustle and whisper in the wind.

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