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Leaf-by-leaf

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The howling wind bit every bare piece of skin it could find. The ice-cold rain soaked her through and seemed to have frozen onto her bones. The crash of thunder above her made her ears ring and the flash of lightning blinded her.

Around her, the trees bowed down to Mother Nature’s fury as their leafy hair danced in the wind.

A burning smell hung in the air. The lightning had hit a tree. It burst into a brilliant conflagration and which held its ground against the torrents of rain.

That had been their tree. They had first met there. She had left a book under it and upon returning to find it, found him reading it. They had become instant friends and talked for hours. When she was with him, it was like the rest of the world didn’t exist.

It hadn’t ended there. Despite studying in different colleges, they spent every free minute texting or being with each other.

They had been sitting under the tree that day; her head was resting on his shoulder. It wasn’t awkward for them. They had become the best of friends.

He asked her if he could tell her something secret.

She had looked into his eyes to tell him, “Of course!”, but instead she could see it there. The one thing she had dreaded. The one fear she had not confided to him.

He loved her – and as more than a friend.

She had run away from him as soon she saw it. They couldn’t be more that friends. She wasn’t ready.

She fell to her knees as sobs rocked her body, the ferocity of the storm minuscule in comparison to the white-hot pain in her heart.

He had tried to call her, but she refused to talk to him. Things would never be the same again. She knew she was hurting him, but they couldn’t be friends anymore.

After a few months, he stopped, and she never saw him again.

She loved him, but as a friend and she missed him.

So she just sat in the rain, bearing the savage wind and skin-piercing rain, and watched as all of her happy memories slowly burnt away leaf-by-leaf.




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