The man stood at the balcony watching the sun immerse itself into the night before the stars. This routine had become necessary ever since Ruth was no longer with him, and the view was always clearer during this time of the day anyway. People had already put their lawnmowers to sleep and called their children into the house after a long day of playing outside during this unusually warm Sunday. The smell of fresh cut grass enveloped the whole evening’s atmosphere and gave him a relaxing high. The man’s neighbor had an old pitbull, Dylan Thomas, who seemed to prefer his walks along the sidewalk when no one was around, especially since his comrade, Justin, had gone to the vet last week. There was a gray and white cockatiel in his neighbor’s balcony. It had always used to sing, but since its mate flew away one night, the orange feathers on its head stood in vigilant search.
The man took a deep breath. As he was turning to go inside, something pleaded with him to stay for just a few more moments. It was that tree. It was that silent tree that always
stood alone across the street, next to that tall, black, unlit streetlight. The tree’s red, orange and yellow leaves were about to fall into the fresh cut grass below.
The man didn’t know what kind of tree it was, but wondered if it ever got lonely when all of its leaves had fallen. Did its branches ever feel bare without them? Or did the tree know it would meet its beloved companions again? Was there a secret only nature knew? Was it hope that gave them patience? Or was it patience that gave them hope? Were they silently waiting for their companion’s return? Or was it their turn that they were waiting for? Did that silent tree believe its leaves would be resurrected and think, perhaps, all it had to do was wait just a little bit longer? Or did it have to make new leaves every year just to watch them fall again?
Edited by August Wright