The storm was howling like in the depth of an abyss. Treer, on Lafayette Street, was not lucky enough to dodge the storm. He tried so hard to stand still so that his pretty hair would not get hurt.
When the last breath of the storm was eliminated, and faded away by the first meter of light from the dawn, Treer knew he outlived disaster. He was checking around, but lucky enough, nothing was broken except a little scratch on his leg. Sunlight shone on him, his hair reflecting through the light; still beautiful. He seemed as good as before but through the wound on his leg, the inside of showed yellow and dry. “This does not make any sense,” he though as his hair was so shiny and wet. “How come my legs are dry and rusty? Oh, I must send all my water reserves from the top of my body.” Just for looking good? How poor Treer was a naive boy!
The day after that, Windy came to see if Treer was ok. He found this wound weird, but he might already have an answer. Asking Treer calmly Windy inquired, “What is this?”
“Ugh, you still found it out I see…yes, I sent all the water and oxygen to my hair,” Treer replied without eye contact. His breath was so light and quivering. How could Treer sacrifice his body for his hair?
Windy did not say a word, and did not say much afterward. Windy left right away, like a tornado. No one ever saw Windy in such a hurry, but asTreer’s body was bent, he did not have the strength to stand straight and catch Windy. His head was down like there a magnet on the ground attracting it. Birds were not singing, butterflies no longer waved and his best friend just disappeared. How could that be! Treer’s eyebrows dropped and became so tight, almost one. He stared at the ground and thoughts became hard to read. He seemed so unwilling, like there something he has not done.
All of sudden, wind howled like a Cherokee’s war drum. It was Windy! And he brought his friend: the Rain Cloud. He was trying to save Treer with rain! Rain fell from the sky like a waterfall and Windy looked at Treer with hope. He believed that this huge rain would save his best friend.
Treer stood in the rain and seemed so excited. Water fell from the sky like a silk-scarf. The obliterating rush of rain on Treer’s body, the tap-tap-tinkle when rain falls on the road or the irregular words from birds in a downpour, all made this place seem better.
He felt there was something happening to his body, and he felt alive. Treer looked a lot better after the rain. His body was reflecting light, and of course, the hair he was most proud of shone like a obsidian. Windy watched his brother in rain, and he opened his mouth, few words jumped out like a candy machine.
“You feeling b-b-better?” He could not even speak with regularity.
No, Treer’s leg lacked water for too long and it is had irreversible damage.
Windy turned back. “Hooooo,” a deep breath by him and it made the whole area vacuum. Windy stared at the sky and seemed like some sand went into his eyes. Silence, all silence.
“Thank you for everything you have done, Win...brother,” Treer whispered.
Windy sat beside Treer reticently, no one knew what he was thinking. He might be carving this last moment with his best friend, a brother, into his memory.
“Windy, there is something I never spoke about. I believe you have noticed, I am a different species than other trees on this street.”
He continued, “Not because I am special, it is because I was abandoned by my family, and they abandoned me here. The House of Forest, which is where I originated from. We have a cruel tradition: family must abandon the weakest one in their family.”
Unfortunately, Treer was that one; an abandonment of shame and sadness. His parents had to leave him there even though they were so sad. He had been trying so hard to prove himself to his parents. He was their son, even the weakest, but with a tough heart. Treer thought, “I wanted to make them proud of me.”
Windy stood up, started flying away, without a word. “Farewell, brother.” Treer said, where the thought to himself overcame with beating self-thought:
You ask me, what I am here to be?
Be the place for birds to sing.
Be the shades for people to sit.
There is no need for guarantee
Windy stopped for a second and did not even turn back. He was too fast so that he could not hear the last part of the poem. What Windy did in haste illustrated his fleeting mind.
Windy left, without a word.
Treer died, with silence, in defeat.
Windy flew over Lafayette Street with his friend Rain. His was no longer fast and young and the smiling face with confidence was gone. Windy looked at the block where Treer lived, and his face was full of pain. His face almost said it for him, that he missed Treer. He wanted to just fly over, but something pulled him down. Windy came to the place where Treer was, the dirt still in the same. No one planted a tree there for that was the only good thing for Windy. He stared at the dirt and sighed.
“Why were you so silly to do such a thing?”
Rain tapped on his shoulder, “It is all in the past. You should get rid of it and start your own life.” Windy nodded his head, but even a bird can see it on his face that he will not get rid of it. Windy left. He finally decided to leave and restart in a totally new place.
The day after that, Windy left. He stared at the place where Treer was for a long time.
Silent, silent, silent; he sighed and finally left without taking away anything. But something Windy could not see was that the dirt where Treer lived hadquivered.
The sun shone as usual, birds sang over the town, vines climbed on the wall, and they were becoming greener and greener. Everything seemed nice and at peace.
The tale that happened would not be told again.
Summer arrived. If spring is where all the lives start and grow, then summer must be the most beautiful time for lives in blossom. And something extraordinary happened on Lafayette Street.
There was a little life, stuck deep beneath the dirt, green like a fancy jade bar; crystal and full of the meaning for life appeared. Luckily, two birds saw everything happening.
“I thought that tree was dead. It is weird,” one bird said.
“The way he died was ridiculous, so there might be a chance that he is still alive,” another bird replied.
“Should we tell this to Windy?”
“Maybe… it is just a start. Let’s wait longer and see what happens.”
A man lived on Lafayette Street who loved to sit under the sunlight with his books and iced tea. But he was not happy about the tree’s death in front of his house. Not because he liked that tree or he was compassionate, he just wanted shade to sit under.
“The tree is dead, I need to replace this tree so I can get shade and enjoy my summer,” the man murmured.
He found out a little green root when he looked closer.
“The tree is alive? Ummm, but it is too small and it takes time to grow. I need my shade before the peak of this summer,” the man seemed like he decided to replace the tree with his own pocket. Unfortunate Treer, the man was coming back. What if the man replaces a tree here?
Far from Lafayette Street, down to the south, Windy sat in the woods looking toward the direction where he came from. He was recalling things that happened in the past. Worries and sadness were all over his face and eyes. He seemed old.
Then, his door opened.
Rain walked in.
“Still thinking about it?” Rain whispered.
“No!” Windy answered fast. He was trying to pretend he was not.
“The reason why I brought you here was that I wanted you to have a new start, to live beyond the past. And I know you were having a hard time adjusting. You can go back if you want, I respect your decision.”
“No, there was no need going back.” Windy was trying to act normal, but his watery eyes betrayed him.
“Think about it,” Rain tapped his shoulder then left, a room with no sound.
When the sunlight pierced the cloud and started a new day, Windy finally decided to put everything down. He joined many events with people, seemed like he was fitting in. Rain was quite happy about it.
One day, on Windy’s way back home, he heard something. He stepped forward and looked closer. A bird was in its nest and was dying. It was an old bird but its baby bird was so little. The little bird was not going to survive without its mother. The little bird put its head against its mother’s belly. Windy wanted to take the bird from its mother. The old bird looked at him thankfully. But the little bird did not let Windy take him. It started to scream when Windy touched it. Windy tried to force the little bird to leave, but the bird was not willing leave anyway. The little bird wanted to die with its mother rather than leave and let someone else grow it. Windy was shocked and he left rapidly and locked himself in his room.
What just happened consumed and dragged Windy back again.
“Even a bird has the courage to stay with its family!”
It was a beautiful night, everyone was dancing around the fire and having their biggest party of the year. Celebrating the transition from summer to fall. Windy sat among them, not looking happy at all. He was still struggling. Suddenly, he saw a familiar bird flying fast towards him. It was the bird from the old place.
“Treer did not actually die, but there was a man trying to replace a tree!” the birds shouted out to Windy.
Then the air starts pressuring everything, it was hard to breath. Clouds are quivering. And the next second, Windy was gone.
“He will not land a finger on my brother.”
It was already the middle of summer. Cicadas sang all the time, even though their voice did not really please people. Frogs in the pond were making a song with cicadas and they made it even worse. But this sound with the views of green and sunshine collapsed and made a totally new thing, and that is the summer. The man brought his shovel and a tree he just bought yesterday. He was going to replace the tree today and enjoy the rest of the summer.
Wind started to howl, and the sunlight was shaved by cloud. Wind blew on the man and he fell on the ground. After that, every time when he wanted to try replace the tree again, wind blew him away. He soon gave up and never sat outside with his iced tea again.
Windy was watching the little green in the dirt, with a full wish: hewished that this is Treer and he will take care of his brother this time. Nothing miserable will happen again! The little green root moved a little when Windy approached. Windy saw that and he was so happy, and was Treer, maybe not with his whole memory. But the little root recognized Windy.
Windy came every day. He brought the purest rain and blew the cloud away when Treer needs sunlight. Treer fell asleep every night with his lullaby.
It was mid-autumn. Crops on the farm were waving like a golden ocean. Farmers put up a smile on their face all the time. It seemed like a happy year.
Little Treer grew a lot. But he was not able to speak yet. Windy was not worried about it. He continued doing the same thing every day.
One day, while Windy was doing his job, Treer stretched his body and Windy was shocked. He asked Treer, “What are you doing?” But there was no response. When Windy was disappointed, he heard Treer murmuring something. And when he clearly heard what was said, tears flowed from his eyes.
A waterfall of emotion and devastation ran from his speckled cheeks:
You ask me, what I am here to be?
Be the place for birds to sing.
Be the shades for people to sit.
There is no need for guarantee…
A brother I will always be.
Treer stood tall. Strong, peaceful, and alive.
The beauty of autumn showed in full force the crimson red and vibrant orange. It was an extraordinary view, with rainbowed hues matching the blue-skyed peace. But the Little Green on Lafayette Street was pushing strong fragrances of red and orange with its little body. It was a spectacular sight.
He made it.