It’s a Wonderful Life

A Secret Tree Leaf
She was lost?  How could that happen?  She knew the park so well.  How did she get here?
She had been out with friends as ever.  Bitching about boys at the bar.  She remained calm and stoic as always, treated the subject with with poise and class as was her style.
And then, she broke down.
Over the boy that broke her heart, flew into a rage like never before, her friends surprised to see her break character but tried to understand, bad talked the heart breaking boy and told her he was bad news, bared their teeth for hers and barked at all the boys about the bar, laughed at them and thought themselves women in the right.  But it was not right in her.  She fled.  Excused herself from the evening despite their protests, their attempts at comforting her.
“No, stay.”
“Do you want another?  Let me get you something.”
“I’ll come with you, I’ll walk you back to your place.”
“Forget him, you’re so much better than him.”
She couldn’t and she wasn’t, not in the face of such feelings. She refused them all and walked away alone.


On the street, her face misbehaved, she tried to maintain herself, calm whatever it was that had been upset within her.  Her face twisted into a grimace and she could not shake it.  No matter how hard she tried to pull them up, or out, the ends of her lips only plummeted down, contracting in.  She walked faster, looked down and away from every passerby.


She couldn’t go home.  Not yet.  Not to… that bed.  It had become his- their union had made it their own- but since he left, anymore, it was only ever his.  Most nights she slept on the couch, leaving the television on to preoccupy herself and lie to her roommates she had merely fallen asleep watching something or other.  There wasn’t anything like this and every thing he had touched was a reminder.  Every aspect of her home that he had commented on became a thought bubble hovering mid air where he had stood as he had inspected and discovered every wonderful thing about her wonderful home.  It poisoned it all.  She could not read any of the books in her home, she felt betrayed by them- books.  Her long and fastidious friend had turned against her.  The comforts of her home she had accrued over the years dissipated, her garden, despite itself, felt bare, save for weeds.

On the streets buildings loomed overhead.  She opted for the park instead.  They had always talked of coming here together, of going on long walks and admiring the gardens.  His ghost walked beside her even now, held her hand, pointed out trees and children playing, commented on how wonderful the park was, the weather, the day- her.  How everything was perfect.  Spring was becoming Summer in their lives, everything was alive, most of all, them.  The Sun had a Hollywood kind of shine to it, seemed to shine just for them.  He turned to her, eyes matching the veridia about them, like laying in grass laughing, like leaves in wind; the brown, like sturdy oak you could climb up into and spend all day in.  His branches held her up, up into the air, the sky.  They promised never to drop her, never let her fall.  His warmth was perfect, greater even than the Sun.  She dreamed away in his stare.  He smiled a hungry grin, and peered lovingly into the heart of her.   He knew how to steal with eyes…
She wrenched his hand from his.  There was no hand.  There was no Sun, nor warmth, nor leaves.  She ran further away from him than she could, into the cold Fall night, a waning gibbous moon looking down upon her casting nothing but shadows in her path, in her wake.  She began to cry, dragon tears, that burned as they streamed from her eyes.  The night had become too cold, full of terrors, and dark; nothing like she liked or felt she could accustom herself to.
She wished he was here, he’d make it all better, he’d know which way to go, he’d help her out of this mess.  At the very least she wouldn’t be alone, she wouldn’t be so lost, so scared.  She cried more for wanting him.  She broke down then, found herself in a clearing with a single tree in the middle of the grove.It seemed the world was falling upon her, she could not hold it up, nor herself.  She fell against the tree.  Knotted all over and leafless.  She poured herself out and wept and wept against the rough knotted trunk.  They slid down her cheeks, they didn’t stain her collar.  They fell to the Earth, they didn’t stream down the tree- they welled in a knot.She sniffled, looking up, it was a good cry.  She noticed soil had been packed into many of the large knots in the tree.  Wiping the last of her sadness from her eyes she dug her hands into the dirt where her sorrow had fallen and taking a handful whispered “I Love You” gushed some more into the Earth in hand and sealed away her tears forever.
Awhile later she wandered back into the bar, some friends were still there.  They respected her alone time, only asking why her hands were so dirty.  “Oh” she said, realizing, “I guess I must have tripped.”  Excused herself to the restroom to wash up, looked at herself in the mirror, smiled, and thought of nothing but how perfect was her wonderful life.

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