Tree

Set on a lone countryside, the sun shines brightly.

A little toddler, in too-big garden gloves and dirtied overalls holds out a sapling. She kneels down and sets the sapling down…

Two years later

The sapling is now slightly bigger, roots starting to reach further in the soil. The girl comes out of her house, nervously fidgeting, a backpack on her back.

“Tree,” she whispers as she kneels down beside the sapling, “I’m headed to school. Will I be okay?” she whimpers. She touches a growing leaf of the sapling. The sapling says nothing, of course, but the girl grows confident. “I’ll miss you,” she whispers , and then runs off to her car, waving goodbye.

7 years later

The sapling is now more of a tree. A young one, but growing strong. The girl comes out of her house running, tears in her eyes. “Mom and Dad want to move.” She says. She cries, leaning against the tree. “I don’t want to go! This is my home! I love it here!” The tree says nothing, but to the girl, it seems sadder.

6 months later

The girl looks back at the tree, shaking with sadness. She drops the box in her arms and rushes over, hugging the tree. “I’ll never forget you,” she whispers. The tree said nothing, but to the girl it said, “I’ll never forget you either.” The girl stepped away, grabbed the box she was carrying, put it in the open trunk of the moving truck, and got in the door. Her dad closed the door and got in beside her. Then the drove away. For the next years days the tree drooped. Even in the sunlight, the tree seemed sad. The new people who moved in were a young couple. They had no interest in a tree.

30 years later

Now the tree was bigger. Bark was growing. Branches stretched out. It was like any other day, the couple and their almost-moved-out kids (who also had no interest in me) heading out on to who knows where. As their van left, a new car came in. As it parked, a person came out of it. It was the little girl, now a woman, smiling. She runs over and hugs the tree. The tree stops drooping. “Guess what!?” She asks excitedly. “I’m moving back! I never liked that old house that Mom and Dad bought. So… I’m here to stay!” She looks at the tree, a melancholy look in her eyes. “Look how much you’ve grown.” She sits down, taking a sketchbook from her pocket. “This’ll be just like old times!”
 

It is not like old times. The woman is older now. Relationships change. The woman often finds herself wondering what is out there. She wants to explore. But how could she leave her tree?

3 years later

She comes over to the tree, sadness in her eyes. “I want to see the world. I want to explore. But how can I if it means losing you?” She sits down and brings her knees to her chest. A leaf lands on her shoulder. As she picks it her, her eyes soften. “Thank you,” she whispers, and runs into her house.

 

The most painful part of it is saying goodbye. She hugs the tree, tears in her eyes. Then, clutching the tree’s leaf that had landed on her shoulder, she heads to the airport.

30 years later

A car pulls up in the driveway. An older woman steps out. The tree is big and tall now. The woman smiles sadly at it and slowly walks over to it. She sits by it, a melancholy smile on her face. “Where did all those good times go.” It isn’t a question, really, it’s a statement. She stands up and faces the tree. “I love you tree.” She says. And as she leaves she can almost hear the tree say, “I love you too.”

Posted in response to the challenge Planting.

abigail_and_bean

VT

13 years old

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