There’s a tree outside my window. I live on the second floor of an apartment building, and this tree stands right outside my leftmost window.
Sometimes, it is my only friend.
It’s not remarkably tall, nor covered in vibrant flowers. It’s not strong and it’s not proud. It just stands, meekly hiding in the shade of the much larger, much more outstanding buildings surrounding it. It lives and no one cares. It could die, and no one would care.
It waves its leaves at me and I feel at peace.
There were dreadfully heavy rainstorms ushering in the new year, baring the already tiny tree down to the core. Shivering, its branches shake in the wind and beg for mercy. Nobody listened of course. Who would?
I stared at the skinny twigs desperately holding on for dear life, and I shed a tear.
Now it has regrown itself. Bright green leaves, albeit slightly yellow on the edges, have taken their place on the naked stubby branches. They dance in the wind as if to say ‘here I am, finally, finally. Say hello to me.’
I smile and wave back and I cry hot tears of betrayal. When did it outgrow me?
It is no longer a friend, no longer a comforting living creature that offers solace. It is now a foe that laughs when I am miserable, smiles when I shout angry, oh so frighteningly angry, words at it. It waves me on, cheers me on, to be better.
But alas, it has forgotten. I do not have leaves to shed, no twigs to snap off and regrow. I don’t have the sun shining upon my face, nor the heavy downpour beating upon me on stormy days. No wind to caress my cheeks, no birds to rest in my nooks.
How do I live without nourishment? How do I look at the sky and feel blessed? How do I wake up and move on?
I don’t know how to live without water and food, yet their appeal fades with each passing day. I don’t know how to say ‘I love you’, and with each lost opportunity, people leave me. I don’t know how to say ‘You’re ok’ and mean it, and she knows it too.
She stares at me through tinted glass, uncaringly mean and silently judging. Soon she will fade too, then where am I left at? Standing, looking out, hoping, wanting, thirsting, dying.
I look at my friend, my foe. It will outlast me, that I know now. Do I smile or frown? Do I still sing sweet whispers of kindness, or spit curses?
I look, and look, and look.