Fiction LGBTQ+

I don’t know when I got here or when I woke up. I just know when I did, I was surrounded by humid blackness. I proceeded to stretched myself out to reach something, water was on my mind. It took me a long time but I grew and stretched and did my best until I got out of that darkness.

The first thing I could see was a vast blue place touched by the occasional white brush of something, later I found out the kingdom was the sky and was it ruled by the clouds. I looked around and saw that green surrounded me, these all-green things that were reaching for the sky like me. They told me that we were different that were they only grew a bit, I was meant to keep going and strive to reach the sky kingdom, they were grass and I was to become a tree. They pointed to the trees that were fully grown on the other side of the riverbank, and although they were far away from us, they still looked majestic, I looked in awe as what I was meant to become.

Not long or far from me, others like me breached the ground and for a while we happily gathered there, growing under the sun, basking in the sunlight and reveling with the rain. But joyful times didn’t last, as many of us succumbed to diverse adversities. The younger ones could not handle the strong winds that we had to fight to stay upright, some did not grow underground enough to reach water or were too close to each other that they competed against their own kind and some were eaten as they were just sprouting. Before I knew it was only me and another tree not far away, they grew stronger and bigger than me and I couldn’t help be mesmerized. Time passed fast as one day blended to another, nothing changed drastically and even when the storms hit it, I no longer felt the fear as I did as a youngling, that I would easily be uprooted from the ground and carried away.

For long it was just us and the nature, it was a marvel to be part of a cycle. The birds would rest on my newly formed and very thin branches to catch a bit of shadow or sometimes to look upon the bugs that gathered around my trunk or between my leaves. I could not help neither one side or the other, I protected the bugs and gave them bits of me for food but also allowed the birds to nest and there I saw the miracle of life, how the birds came to be, such a different way than I did. And then the foxes came to burrow on the side of my roots, they have the same orange my leaves had for a season and they would prey on the birds on my branches and would come home to me with bunnies between my fangs. When time came for the foxes to reproduced, I was once again amazed that neither me or the birds came to be as they did.

When I saw the deer for the first time their antlers reminded me of my branches, the way they bended and reached up like a crown, then I noticed some of the birds also had their own versions of crowns either the feathers on top of their head stood up or had different color than the rest of them. By every animal coming and going I learned about what was further than I could see, there was a world beyond of my vision and what I could imagine.

All seemed to remain the same until the birds carried the news that the humans were moving in, how exciting we all thought, after all most of us didn’t know what humans were. The birds described them as mostly hairless animals, only having hair on top of their head, and they didn’t have wings, claws, fangs or antlers, they weren’t bigger than a bear nor taller than I was. We all laughed at the birds’ fear of the humans, after their description the humans seemed no match to us and at least me and my tree friend were safe not even the winds can move us. What we didn’t realize is that the humans came with more than themselves, they came with “machines” horrible things that none of us could communicate with, without a heartbeat, without sympathy or compassion. I no longer felt part of a fair cycle.

The humans moved in in hordes, so I quietly from a distance I witnessed their wreckage, their chaotic existence.  Many ate animals without having to hunt for them, they played with water, planted flowers that we had never seen, they lived without having to survive but most importantly they destroyed, they had something that would even kill me- fire they called it. I saw it they took parts of my friends and then they lit them up, how can something so beautiful be so awful. Fire was something that none of us ever saw of ever imagined and everyone was afraid of it but I couldn’t help but find it stunning. I knew that if I were to touch it, it would destroy me but I couldn’t help but want to.

For a time, we coexisted separated until two little humans came to us, it was the first time me and my friend had a close look of these humans, one was bigger and taller than the other but both of them looked similar, hairless besides the brown hair on their head, their hands were soft when they touched my bark and leaves. It was on this first encounter that I learned 3 important things: these tiny human beings did not have a clue how to treat nature as they ripped grass and flowers out of the earth, they were somewhat like lizards or snakes they took their skin off to bathe in the river and had more underneath, but unlike them when they were done they could put the second skin again, and most importantly I learned the bigger human was named Walter and the smaller human was named Willow, and that she and I shared a name.

The little human came many times after with Will or other small humans that she called friends, it was because of her that I got to know what friendship was, something that connected me and the creatures and plants that surrounded me. I also got to know what being hurt meant, I wasn’t sure I had ever felt it as little Willow had when Walter and his friends had mocked her and abandoned her in the river bank. She came to take shade near me and had let a small river flow from her eyes, she stayed that way for a long time until a bigger human, that I had never seen, had picked her up and carried her home.

I did understand pain just like little Willow that once when she was climbing me put her foot on a weak branch, broke it and fell to the ground and scraped her arm making it bleed. I am sure we both felt the same type of pain but she could voice and let the river flow where I suffered in silence and rustled my leaves. But where Walter and the friends took, broke, destroyed and not gave back Willow knew she came back the next day with something wrapped around her arm and she climbed me again and placed the same thing around the branch that was in half both of us looked the same our brown arms with white cloth wrapped around it. She also, while hugging me, apologized and promised to be careful.

Little Willow became my friend she would come to read out loud under my shade and talk about how things were named and things that were outside of my little word, with her I travelled to different lands and times. As payback I asked the birds to carry flowers to her as I felt she should have her own crown, she should be draped in the most beautiful things nature has to offer. My tree friend despised the humans has without Willows favor Walter and the friends would do as they pleased not caring about the state they left the tree.

Season came and went and little Willow grew up, she would start to visit me less and less with time until she started to visit in the dead of night. When it was quiet and everyone was asleep, she would come and meet a woman, Daisy, and they would whisper sweet things to each other, make promises about their future and embrace each other. They continued to do this for a while, I did my best to hide them from the world, create a cocoon under the safety of my leaves, they said they loved each other and I wanted to witness what that entailed.

One night under the full moon they promised to get married Daisy apologized for not having a ring but Willow just cried, took a ribbon out of her hair and tied it to one of my branches, promising that as long as I stood and this ribbon was around me their love was true and nothing but what they had that night was needed for them to be happy and forever together.

After that night, Willow would come every day, sit under me put her chin above her bended knees and wait until the sun was coming up. Daisy came once and wrapped a letter with the bow and when Willow came later that night and when she read the letter she cried, like I never heard her before, it reminded me of how a storm sounded when I was young, so fierce and terrifying that something would break. I guess if something did break that night it might have been Willow’s little heart, and nothing I would do could help her.

Willow moved on and grew up even more, she met a man but I never saw it in her eyes the same love she had for Daisy. They did get married and a ceremony under me and at Willow’s request several bows were tied all over my branches, where the adults could not reach the kids ventured as a challenge. Willow smiled and teared up when everyone was done putting the bows everyone was happy and assumed she was too because of her marriage but I held her secret, hope and her love. After everyone moved the celebration inside her house, she reached for one bow in specific, it was old, tattered but it still held tight, I had protected it as long as I lived that bow would hold, Willow smiled and left me.

Willow would go on and make little humans of her own. She would play with them in the river and watch them as they would race up my branches, and when they asked about the bow that through the years remained on wrapped around me, she would just say that it meant that there was true love under me. At the request of the little humans Willow did wrap three more ribbons, one for each of the little ones, she did love them not as she had loved Daisy, she loved them as I loved my leaves, as a part of her she could not hold on more than necessary for them to grow, and grow and leave they did. The man died soon after the little humans left and Willow was left alone and would often spend her afternoons with me.

It was a quiet and fine afternoon; Willow was sitting on the bench when someone came unannounced, time had made her age, just as Willow did. Daisy cleared her throat and Willow looked behind and for a while time stood still, I could see them just like the last time they were together two young women Willow as dark as my bark and Daisy as white as the flowers she was named after, their eyes were wrinkled with age but I could still see it, the love they shared between them. I guess for them time did stand still since they had parted, nothing but time was lost, the love that they had for each other was still there, it dormant for a while but once they saw each other their love became a blaze again.

They tried to go to each other but ended up collapsing together on the floor together, they hugged, they kissed and they cried, even when the day turned to night, they stayed with me telling each other how they had spent the years when they were apart. Daisy apologized for the way she had left but her dad had found out she had been sneaking out and she was afraid of finding out where she was going and putting Willow in danger but she had never forgot her and despite also getting married to a man her heart had stayed faithful to Willow through all the years.

There was 2 times I wished I could cry once it was when Willow and Daisy reunited, for long after they stayed on that house and spent every moment together and would visit me often. Once they were brought back together, they decided to never apart again even when they died, they were both in an accident and died holding each other.

They were both buried next to me as it was their final wish, at the funeral I rustled my branches and leaves as I had no other way of showing the hurt, I was in, someone said that I was truly a weeping willow. I always believed Willow was to be graced with the beauty of nature so I asked the birds to carry seeds and the earth to help them grow, it was my final gift to Willow to have both their graves surrounded by daisies. Eventually I too have started to fade I wished to my friends that they would carry the branch and the bow and lay me with them, I believe they will be that kind.

March 29, 2024 20:32

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

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