‘The tree with a thousand stories’


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Story 3

A memory

“The time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself”

***

The sun wasn’t as warm as earlier…she could feel the wind playing through her hair as she was walking up the hill.

It’s been years since she was back and somehow this place looked the same, nothing seemed to change …everything was like a frozen motion picture.

She believed that time had stopped and no matter what she’s done while being away, it was completely insignificant.

She remembered all the reasons for leaving…she was curious, the world seemed to be too large and too exciting…she wanted more for herself…she wanted to discover what’s beyond that large field of yellow flowers, that always looked infinite…

So after many conversations with her parents she decided it was best for everyone if she would study abroad, maybe work a couple of years and just forget…

…yes, forget…

There’s only so many reasons one would suddenly decide that being far away from loved ones is the best choice…most of the times we are running from something much worse like guilt or pain…questions to which we do not have the answers…a broken heart that cannot truly heal in the presence of its sword.

Years went by and life has taken its course…she’s seen the world and it was beautiful, she’s graduated and she felt proud…happy, sometimes…but she stopped feeling, her heart never really healed as she’s imagined it would.

Life it’s not always how you plan it to be…the loss never seemed to leave her, the pain stayed somewhere in her soul and brought a darkness along, that she couldn’t chase away.

The painful reality was that when the love of her life died, she couldn’t be around anything that reminded her about him or them…the only way she knew how to stop the pain was running…running far away, where nothing and no one will ever seem familiar.

…without even realising, a part of her died as well that day…the part that lived and enjoyed the light, the part that allowed her to feel happiness and sadness.

She never felt lonely but she always chose to be alone…she never allowed anyone too close to see the darkness in her heart…to see that she was incapable of giving anything.

Today, she remembered that old tree on the hill she used to go to, whenever she felt the world was too much…when she just wanted a little bit of silence…when she wanted to be alone.

Even if nothing has changed in this town…she didn’t belong, it wasn’t hers anymore, but she still had that tree, that felt like home.

She managed to get to the top right about the time of sundown…the sky exploded in all the shades of red and orange and it looked like the earth is becoming one with the sky.

She set down and leaned against the tree…it was like a sweet touch of someone she once knew and for the very first time, she felt the most lonely person in the world.

…she was feeling lonely…

Her hands touched the trunk of the tree and between all the names carved into it, she found his…and everything she ever wanted to forget…everything she ever wanted to run from…they all came back to her.

…she cried and she cried like never before…

After so many years of hiding from the true experience of loss and loneliness, she felt flooded by all these emotions she couldn’t explain…

Her heart somehow felt whole again…she couldn’t take her hands of the carving because that would mean she is letting go of him…of them…of all the memories.

Even then, the feeling of loneliness didn’t disappear…as she felt closer to him, she felt more and more alone…because that was the harsh truth…she was alone, he would never come back to her…but the memories, the feelings she locked away for so long…would live on forever.

That meaningless carving in the trunk of an old tree it’s now a memory that she would always come back to, whenever she feels she’s drifting again towards darkness or just to remember him.

The writer:

“Sometimes loneliness it’s not such a bad thing….being alone can teach us how to feel again…and feeling anything is the first step we take back to the world…back to our destiny”

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