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A Sitting Place — Part 3

 
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A bench in the shade beneath a tree was where Margaret agreed to meet Stan. The sun was still above the skyline but in the hours that followed the commuting traffic home. Stan arrived first to the black cast iron, heavily painted, and aging bench that had become loosely bolted to the brick lain courtyard floor. Behind the bench sat a tidy flower-bed of a simple arrangement and overhead a blossoming tree in the spring. He brought a green tea for her and a coffee for himself.  Hers sweetened with a touch of honey, his straight black.  They had both finished Flaubert’s Madame Bovary since their last meeting. She in its original French, he in the translated English. They were both looking forward to discussing and sharing thoughts. She was running late, and he sat patiently with his paperback copy on his lap.  As the sun dropped below the skyline and behind the horizon of that, a cool breeze settled in. The street lights flickered on, the green tea cold. He finally rose to his feet when it became obvious she wasn’t about to show.