Do you know the definition of a folly?
I didn’t. Until we met. Before that, I lived my life in the office. I brought lunch just so I could work through break. That day, I spilled my lunch on the ground, the whole system was down and the paper copies were disorganized. I ended up going to eat lunch at what was proclaimed by coworkers as the best food stands in the city. I ate alone, finding a bench in the courtyard in front of a rather large structure.
I was scrolling through my phone when she sat next to me. It was a park, people were allowed to sit on any bench they chose so I didn’t look up. And then she turned to me and asked me, “Do you know the definition of a folly?”
That was when I really looked up and saw her smiling at me. I’ll admit I didn’t think she was talking to me at first and glanced around. I, of course, said a folly was something foolish.
A small, delicate laughter that seemed to shimmer through the air.
“Of course, you would define it as that.” she said and smiled at me. “But did you know, a folly can also be defined as a large, costly ornamental building with no practical purpose usually built in a garden or park? Such as the one behind us.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. So I ate and I left. But her laughter and her smile stayed with me. I got practically no work done for the rest of the day and chalked it up to a disaster. Truth be told, she intrigued me. So when I went to work the next day, I didn’t take a lunch. When lunch break came, much to the surprise of my coworkers, I went to the food stands again.
As I stood in line for lunch, I glanced at the bench I had sat on last time. It was empty. I got my food and sat down. But I didn’t pull out my phone. I ate my lunch and listened the sound of the birds and the breeze. I waited, without admitting I was waiting, for the sound of someone approaching. I even looked up a few times at people walking by. A couple strolling. A person out for an afternoon jog. But, really, I was waiting to see if she would sit by me again.
When lunch was almost over, I felt a fool. To base everything on one interaction. Crunching the wrapper I had into a tiny ball, frustrated with myself, I looked at the ground. Then I heard the sound of heels and turned to see her walking up.
“Well, hello. Come to sit by my folly?” she smiled as she sat.
And that began our lunches. I stopped bringing lunch to work. I stopped working through lunch. Every day we sat there together.
It became our folly.
Sometimes I arrived first and sometimes she did. And one day, I finally got up the courage to ask her why she liked this folly so much.
“Because…” she said. “It has no practical purpose. It exists to exist. I think sometimes people are so concerned with being practical that we forget… to exist in the moment.”
Every day since I realized the truth in her words.
She taught me to exist while we can…
…Until we don’t. To listen to the birds, and pay attention to the people around us. The true folly in life, is letting it all pass us by.
Author’s Notes: Hey readers, so as the Image on the Top states, this is my entry for the April Monthly SimLit Short Story Challenge in the Novice. I had a lot of fun writing this and am looking forward to doing it again each month as time allows. I hope you also enjoyed the departure from my usual characters.
Now there are rules for both writers and readers of this SimLit challenge. I will have to remain within word limits, screenshot counts and, of course, be on theme for each month’s entry.
And if any of you decide to vote, you MUST read ALL entries and vote for your top three in BOTH categories (Novice and Veteran). If you do not vote for three in each category then your vote will not count. Voting will be open the first week after the end of submissions (ex: April’s Monthly Submissions are due April 30th by midnight and voting will be open from May 1st to May 7th). I plan to vote myself as there are a ton of wonderful submissions and am highly anticipating the chance.
LisaBeeSims had outlined all of this on her blog and on the page in the Sims Forums (found here). There is also a Facebook Page for those who want to like and follow. Make sure to bookmark these pages and check out all the amazing writers that are participating. Or if you are a writer looking for an opportunity, check it out and enter it! I encourage you because there are so many people who have encouraged me and I hope to pass it forward.
Edit: This piece placed 2nd in the April SimLit Short Story Challenge Novice Division. Thank you SO much to everyone who read it and voted for it. Couldn’t be happier!!