the music had run out and she was all alone, there was nobody
to ask her why her eyes were so dark and empty or if she was okay, nobody
seemed to notice that she wasn't okay.
she didn't want to go home at the end of the day, but she didn't
want to stay at school so she would slip away
like she was metaphorically slipping away inside
and go off to her own secret place in a tree house
that was falling apart slowly, left behind by a family that had
grown up and moved away;
leaving a tree house in a forest clearing that became
a secret haven for a young girl who was falling apart.
sometimes he would sneak out into the woods behind
his house and find an old, abandoned tree house
climbing up the remains of a once solid ladder into a little house
that was missing boards on some walls and felt like it was lonely,
but sometimes he would find a piece of paper or a pencil that had been
left behind by somebody else that he liked to imagine was broken inside
and abandoned like him
with his alcoholic father and dead mother, wishing everyday that he could
someday find someone that was just as lost as he was, just as
close to disappearing into the night without a trace.
she found him sitting in her tree house with his hands folded
as if praying and his head resting on the wall behind him, eyes closed.
her heart stopped, not in fear but in disappointment because she had
wanted more than anything for that tree house to be her own
and now it wasn't and she felt like her sanctuary had been taken away
from her like everything else and so she turned to leave, but her foot
slipped on the ladder and the fragile wood snapped and she fell
with a scream as his eyes snapped open suddenly and he jumped to his feet.
the fall was short and the landing was soft, but she wasn't quick to stand up
and she found herself looking up at the trees around her and her eyes
found the eyes of the curious boy looking down at her laying
quietly in the grass and dirt and leaves.
and then it was his words that took her breathe away,
the words she had always wanted to hear but nobody had cared
"are you okay?"