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The Tree on Beverly Street Part 3: School

Continued from last issue…

Corinne slowly grew a big smile on her face and said, “Well girl, it’s almost Halloween! I know you love Halloween. We are going as Thing One and Two, right?”

“Oh true! I don’t know if I want to dress up this year…”

“WHAT!? Kylie, what’s wrong with you? We never miss a Halloween!” Corinne said loudly.

“I’ll think about it.” The bell rang and the two went to their different classes. Corinne was right, Kylie always loved dressing up for Halloween, but this year might be different.

The school day ended, and Kylie started to walk home. The rain stopped from the morning, and it left a disgusting, humid dew in the air. Kylie noticed the falling leaves and thought about the times where she and her brother would hide in piles of them. Although those memories were fun ones, they were tainted. When Kylie and her brother would hide in the leaves, Moria would go in and find them.

The sign read “Beverly Street.” Kylie knew she was almost home. As she continued walking, she heard tree branches moving and ruffling in the wind. At this point, she was solely focused on getting home after a long day at school.

“Make it to school on time?” said a voice through the leaves.

Kylie peered up from staring at the ground with a confused look. Then, it hit her: “Dang it! You again!”

The tree replied, “I apologize, I didn’t know I was such a burden.”

Kylie slowly shook her head. “Sorry, just — what do you want from me?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all.”

Kylie began to walk away, and then stopped in her tracks. She saw a woman and a child walk past her, the child with a backpack. Kylie moved her head to look at the droopy tree. She turned around.

“My mother.”

The tree nodded suggesting a “yes”, and took a long pause. After a while, the tree motioned to Kylie and said, “I am me because of Moria. Her kindness, and yours, gave me life on this beautiful earth- I could never forget that.”

Talking about her mother was something Kylie had knowingly repressed; this would be difficult. “I’ve been told by my dad that she was kind, I just have minimal recollection of that.”

“I understand. No one can remember something that has been detached from their lives,” the tree told Kylie.

Kylie’s head was pointed toward the grey cement sidewalk while shuffling her feet in the fallen leaves. This was how she reacted when she was in uncomfortable situations, like speaking about her mother. She didn’t know what to say or ask about her mother, even though she held so many questions. Kylie lifted her head up a bit.

“I don’t understand.”

“Moria was determined, which is wonderful. Though, sometimes our eagerness gets the best of us, and we lose our way.”

Kylie sat on the curb behind her. “Like me. I lost my way, except I don’t even remember a time I had a way…I just wish that my life wasn’t this screwed up! Why did my mother have to leave, and why did that kill me? I kinda wish she was home.”

The tree started to shake its branches and shed its leaves for the fall, it shook until every last leaf fell, except for one. One leaf remained on the tree. Kylie started walking slowly towards her house. It was five houses down from the tree, not far.

Madison Starinieri is a student majoring in English Education and Special Education. MS882527@wcupa.edu

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