He looked at his watch again. Yes, indeed the hands were moving slower than normal, as expected when one is waiting for something in dread, nervousness, or anticipation. But this time he couldn't head the clicks. In movies, waiting for something to happen, the hands would slow and the only thing heard is the dominating ticking of the small wrist watch or the intimidating town clock gongs. Yet it was silent, as nothing stirred and the seconds casually strolled by.
He shook the watch, and a couple walked by. His heart shivered. He crossed his legs when a few more minutes died, never to come back.
All the times he'd wished for more time he regretted now, for wishing never goes as expected, and almost never ends the way you want it, as if to punish you for being discontent in the first place. So now, he sat on the bench alone, as the woman he was waiting for as across the street in a coffee shop, testing his loyalty.
A paper blew across his feet, and he looked down to catch a glimpse of the headlines before it got dragged across the street by the wind and run over by a few of those double decor tour busses. The words he'd managed to glimpse were along the lines of a teen death, and a short life.
He thought about his life, full of regret. A truck drove by, rattling store windows. There was a commercial on it, "Its never too late". And it wasn't too late, he had a whole life unopened.
He stood up, and caught a glimpse of the woman he'd been waiting for. Her dazzling smile didn't catch his heart this time. His eyes narrowed. In one glance, he gave her back the hook she'd kept him on for so long, and turned away.
In that fleeting moment of instinct, he turned away and started down the path towards who he really was. The suit he was dying to take off, the shallow woman with the look that could steal anyone's heart because she didn't have one of her own, those weren't the things he cared about.
It hit him to realize all that changing to be liked lost his own love, and gained the love of matterless things. A shimmering reflection flickered in a store window and for a moment he was tempted to fall into that easy life of being someone else. Then a stab i the heart so deep made him realize he could be whoever he wanted, there was no pretending, and if he lived his life thinking it was someone elses, he wasn't a person, and he wasn't living, and that wasn't acceptable.
In a moment of panic, he tried to think of something stupid, something only he would do.
He slapped himself across the face and smiled.