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Our Tree

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I’d be lying if I said he never crosses my mind. Actually, there isn’t a moment he isn’t there. I sit under the tree. Our tree. Staring at the sun setting. The sky, not blue anymore. But pink, orange, yellow. I pluck the blades of grass sticking up on either side of me. It’s hard to forget him. Sometimes I wish I could. But I can’t. After a while of blank thoughts, I get up and stand face to face with the tree. Our tree. The carved in initials, S and A, are still there and very visible. Sara and Aaron.
He made sure to carve the letters in deep, so that they will remain there forever. I run my fingers across the letters, remembering the day they were made. It happened two summers ago.
The moment was very much like this one, the sun setting. Pink, orange, yellow, painting the sky. That was the day the tree became ours. He had taken his pocket knife out and pressed it into the tree. Before he carved anything in, he stared at me. “This tree is ours now, and it will be ours forever.” I gave him an agreeing smile that said yes. Always and forever. Then he went on carving our initials into the wood. I’ll never forget that day. Not because of the art he created on the trunk of our tree. But because of what happened before. Because of the actual reason that tree became ours. The carving was just a reminder. A souvenir of that moment. A way to remember and never forget.
After staring at the letters for about five minutes, I decide I should leave. But it wouldn’t be my last visit to that spot. Nor will the next one. I walk home, slowly, sluggishly, without any care as to what my father will say when I enter the house after dark. The sun had fully set as I was leaving our tree. I was supposed to be home before the sun completely set away; away to light up someone else’s memories. But after he was gone, I didn’t care too much about what my father said. I am seventeen years old. I am not a little girl anymore and I haven’t been one since that summer, two years ago.
I walk into the house, and begin going up the stairs that lead to my room. Suddenly I hear my father call me. “Sara, can you come over here for a minute?” I let out a heavy sigh. I already know what he is going to say. “Sara, how many times have I told you to be here before dark?” I begin opening my mouth to protest but he continues “I am sick and tired of the way you’ve been behaving. I know you’re still upset about Aaron, but that was two years ago. You have to move on. Now, this is still my house and you’re still my daughter, and as long as you live here you must obey my rules. Is that understood?” I want to yell at him so bad. Tell him everything is his fault. Tell him that he’s the reason why Aaron isn’t here. But I don’t. Instead I say, “Yes father. Understood.”
I walk into my room, lie down on my bed, and fall asleep. I dream of him and that day two summers ago. We were alone. The field was empty. At this time everyone was home, probably eating dinner with their families. But I was with him. We chose to lay beneath a tree. He lay on the bare ground while I rested my head on his chest. It was silent. Suddenly he whispered something to me. The words were something I had felt, but was too afraid to admit. “I love you Sara.”
At first I didn’t know what to say. I lifted my head and turned to his face. We stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed hours, but in reality was just a brief moment. And then I said it. “I love you too Aaron.” He held me tight in his arms. He told me he never wanted to let me go. I looked at him again, and asked him “do you really love me, Aaron?”
“Yes baby. I love you.”
“Then will you show me?” He stared at me for a moment, completely taken aback by what I had just asked him. I could tell he wasn’t sure if I meant what I had said, but from the look in my eyes, he realized I was serious. And then, we kissed. I had kissed him before, but somehow, this kiss felt like I was kissing for the first time. It was the most passionate kiss we ever had. And it was then, beneath the long branches, and the setting sun, beneath pink, orange and yellow, that that tree became ours
I wake up from my dream with tears in my eyes. The air in my room strangles me. I feel like my life is slowly descending from my body. I can’t take it anymore. I walk downstairs to the kitchen to get something to eat. I walk over to the cabinet to grab the bread, but then my father walks in.
“Sara, can we talk?”
I turn around to face my father. “I said I’m sorry, okay?” I roll my eyes and turn back around. “It’s not that Sara,” he heaves a heavy sigh then continues, “I’m sorry about the way I reacted earlier. I shouldn’t have yelled at you. And I shouldn’t have mentioned Aaron.”
“Dad, stop it. Aaron isn’t here. It’s not the end of the world.”
“Honey, it’s been two years and it is obvious you’re still hurting. It’s normal not get over your first crush…”
“Crush, dad!? What I had for Aaron wasn’t a crush. I loved him. I don’t think you even know what love is! It’s your fault he’s not here anyway, dad!” I throw the bread on the counter top and storm out of the kitchen without saying another word. I run up to my room and slam the door shut. I begin crying hysterically.
I start thinking about that day. About how it was the most wonderful day of my life, and how, by a simple yet iniquitous twist of fate, it led to the worst day of my entire existence. I grab my journal that I hide under my bed. In it, I keep a photo of Aaron. A photo I took of him the last day before he left me. In the picture, he is smiling at me. We had decided to visit our tree that day and just before leaving, I grabbed my camera and told Aaron to tell me he loved me. He did. And that photo captured the smile that effortlessly eased its way onto his face.
Dear Journal,
Every day is getting harder to get by. I know I should be over him, but for some reason I’m not. How can I? I loved him, and I still do. I know it happened two years ago, but it isn’t true what they say. Time does not heal all wounds. Everyday I think about that day, two summers ago, and I think about how amazing it was. It didn’t hurt. Not at all. It was wonderful. Unforgettable. I wish I could go back to that moment and stay there forever…

I look up away from the pages, and stare. I stare at my purple walls, my pink curtains with white flowers. I stare at my dresser and the jewelry box that lies on top, and at the same time, I stare at nothing. I walk over to my window, and gaze out. From this view, I can almost see the field where God gave me what everyone girl and woman long their whole lives for. A soul mate.

The next morning, I wake up early. I look at my clock. 4:27 am. I get up from my bed, and go over to my calendar where I have been marking off every day, awaiting for this day to arrive. Today, exactly two years since the day Aaron left me. I get dressed and go downstairs quietly, making sure not to wake up my father. I sneak out the front door, and begin walking up the street. On my way I see a small garden with beautiful flowers growing. I grab three. A pink flower. An orange flower. A yellow flower.

I continue walking up the road, until I reach the end. Then I turn left and continue walking down a small road that leads to a cemetery.
“Aaron Jennings. 1972-1988”

I stand in front of the stone, and for a while, I don’t move. “Hey, Aaron. It’s Sara…” my eyes begin welling up with tears. “I miss you, babe. I miss you so much.” I let out a sigh, trying to contain my tears. I lay the flowers down, and I sit across from the headstone. I try speaking but I can’t open my mouth without a river of tears pouring from my eyes, overflowing the ocean that dwells in my heart.
I sit there for a while, gathering my thoughts. I finally gain the strength to speak. “You know, I think about you everyday. I think about our tree, and the day you said you loved me. Do you think about it too? I know you do, Aaron. I know you miss me as much as I miss you. I can’t help but feel guilty for the reason you’re up there, and not down here with me. Sometimes I blame my father. If he didn’t terrorize you and scared you off that day he saw us together, you wouldn’t have run off…”

I feel the tears again, and stop speaking for a moment. I inhale deeply and continue, “I hate him so much. He took you from me. And now I have nothing. Nothing but my memories. It isn’t fair. I wish I was with you. What is the point of life without having you here to share it with?”

I go on with to sitting there for about ten minutes without speaking. Sometimes, if I sit still enough, and quiet enough, I can hear him whisper my name. I know that sounds foolish, but it is true. Aaron is my soul mate. And even though his soul is far from me, I can still feel him within me. Everywhere. All the time.

I look at my watch and it says 6:00 am. I decide I should get home before my dad wakes up, so I raise myself up from the ground, and say my final words to Aaron.

“I love you. Always and forever. No matter where I go, I go with you in my heart. And I always will, until we meet again...”

I start to walk away, then out of nowhere, a sudden breeze brushes threw my hair and into the trees, and just as the leaves shift around, I hear a whisper… a voice.





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x3jaimieee said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 11:43 am
hey readers, please comment this storyy. i'd really appreciate any feedback. =) thanks
 
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