On the way home, the wind was blowing hard, the leaves scattering here and there, rushing past the face and spiralling up towards some destination in the past. Oranges, browns, taupes, reds, beige, here and there sparsely tinted with remnants of youthful green. A grey yet sombre evening, with that wet chill of a lingering rainfall, signifying the autumn that buries and gets buried to be reborn again in spring. There was something melancholy in the atmosphere, whether it was within or without was hard to distinguish. There was a roiling wave of upending turmoil that was urging to come out from a long forgotten slumber. As I walked through the cascades of fallen leaves, I brought my eyes down from the flock of birds up there amid the heavy clouds to rest on the sight of a tree stump, chopped down, no more.
The significance was prominent, and that's when the turmoil within decided to come without. I fought against it, to restrain it: the thoughts, the memories, the feelings that come out without reason- long time forbidden to the self for the simplest reason of futility. The tree, where countless moments spent a growing friendship, playing in the treehouse that was OURS, the decisions of how to build it, who should do what, and the underlying best part of it all was that it was ours and together we'd share all of it, the times you'd catch me if I fell off a branch, or be ready to steady me as I carelessly made a fool climbing it, the times you'd have a ready hand for the times I'd trip over a root, teasing you for the many admirers who wanted to carve their name with yours on it, annoying you with my craziness, getting in your face just to make you know that you weren't alone, the times I'd swing away in my own world while you'd be leaning on the trunk doing your own thing, the minutes, the days, the months, the years. Each season watching our leaves fall and knowing they'd be back again no matter what.
"No matter what" really isn't any guarantee, is it? There is something about forever that indicates a perpetuity of positive connotations. And yet, forever is never; forever is those leaves that never come back despite new ones growing again, forever is the colours that change and fade to nothing despite knowing that new colours will be repainted again. Forever is the goodbye, it was nice knowing you, I guess. Or maybe the goodbye that never gets said. Forever could be the whys and the what the hell happened. Or could be those questions, asked forever. Maybe they don't deserve to be asked. There is something about forever that is like a chronic backpain...it just doesn't seem to go away. Oh yeah, it is forever afterall. So who took the first chop? Does it matter now, when answers don't solve problems that aren't there anymore - because no one cares? And if noone does, why am I even asking?
The sun diminished and the light disappeared. The moon winked, and hid behind its clouds. In the pitch darkness I lit a candle and left the bed. The world was sleeping, the wind was whispering. In the flickering light of the single flame, I followed my shadow down the long crinkled path of the fallen, and came upon it, the stump of a tree. I looked at it in silence and thought silently, sometimes, one doesn't get a chance to say goodbye. One doesn't get a chance to tell someone what they'd meant to them. And sometimes, you tell them, try to tell them many times, and you get told goodbye without being told because they aren't there to tell anymore.
And I tipped the candle and let the flame tickle the surface of the long gone tree. It might have giggled, or it might have cried. I turned my back to it as it was engulfed in flames.
Sometimes, it is better to say goodbye.