Even the Trees Cannot Hold Me Here Any Longer

October 9, 2010
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The stories. They are the things that get me smiles in class, and get me an escape at home. If I sit on the worn tree named Philomena, the stories can come and keep coming until I am not lonely anymore. My stories are my good thing. The trees keep me here, writing while I wait to break free. The stories keep me knowing that I can leave here, though it isn’t even that bad.

Of course, no one thinks it is a good thing that a ‘young girl like me’ is so content with the company of her thoughts that spill into and blend with the trees. But they don’t understand. My stories keep me clear and fresh. I will not react to anyone’s cruelty when I have my stories to protect me, better than a shiny silver shield, because the enemy cannot even see my protection. When they strike, the shield is already up, already encasing me with armor. The stories are like what I need now.
My armor suddenly goes up. My stories can come easily; the girl was dressed simply, unlike the others in their clothing that was flashy and tasteless. They went forward, ready to jeer at the girl, but found they could not. The girl’s brown hair that fell like waves was toward them, and they were ignored to the point when they felt they were jeering at a wall made of the hardest stone. Their prattle suddenly reaches a climax, and they girl swings around, a smirk instead of tears on her face. They back away, muttering angrily that they have had no success.
So in this way I can evade them, sitting on the tree contently. They are all dimwitted; do not know as much as I do. They don’t know that I can protect myself easier than they can come at me.
The choicest stories in my head get written down and submitted into class, while the others remain in the careful folders of my brain. The stories I hand in get marked and have encouraging comments on them, but even the teacher does not understand. She gives my stories good grades and it makes my parents happy. They do not understand that they are seeing a life boat, not a story. It slowly begins to be not enough.
The tree, Philomena, the harbor for my life boats, has begun to bend towards the ground. She is slowly giving in to the truth that stare us in the face. That I will leave soon. I have taken a test. My lifeboats and I have thrown our anchor into a new harbor. Then one month, it lands in that harbor. Philomena’s branch, the one that I have always sat on, now touches the ground.
Things start changing rapidly. I am treated differently, and my stories, though they have not gone, are not needed much anymore. The lifeboats become just boats. Sailing on them is a hobby, not a necessity. I still write and write and write. I still visit the trees. But I now sit on the ground leaning against them.
Then the day I know will come is here. I go outside with a notebook and an apple, go directly to the trees. I sit against them and write the stories that are no longer about survival. My stories have changed. The girl holds the apple and, watching some people nearby, takes a bite. She speculates and-I stop writing. I do not know what to do. Instead of writing, I go over to the people in the field, who invite me to play soccer. I say yes and I can feel the trees are astonished. But I ignore it.
Even the trees cannot hold me here any longer.

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