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Forever and then some more

By Mariana Faísca
Edited by Mafalda Vale

I've been in this park for the last 300 years, give or take. Watching people taking their dogs for a walk, children playing on the swings. The world became mundane, without any exciting events. Sometimes there were fun occurrences, such as a dog tricking their owner and pushing them into the pond. Other than that, watching people go about their day when you don't have legs anymore gets a bit boring after the first 100 years.

Today appeared to be no different. Dogs, children, mothers with their babies in strollers, and their expensive coffee. The usual. That's when I heard a faint laugh coming from one of the benches in front of me. They seemed so carefree and comfortable with each other. I wish I could experience that again.

The girls placed a pink checkered blanket on the grass and various foods on top of it: chocolate covered strawberries, chips, sandwiches. The taller, short-haired brunette and her date accidentally touch hands, the space between them slowly disappearing. The blonde, fair-skinned girl blushed. I wiggled my leaves in excitement.

“I’m s-sorry… I didn’t mean to-”

“Oh, it’s fine. Perfectly fine.” The girl said with a grin. They held eye contact for a few seconds and quickly moved their hands from each other. I released all the tension I didn't know I was holding, my branches withering.

My attention began to focus on the nature surrounding me. Bees landing on daisies, the grass still wet from the morning dew. I attempted to scare the squirrel that was trying to climb on me, afraid that it would disturb the family of birds that had been living in one of my branches for a few weeks now. I could feel every inch of this park through my ancient roots, and describe it with my eyes closed. If only I could close them.

My life changed completely, when I stepped foot in this place three centuries ago. Ever since I could remember, everything had been given to me on a silver platter. Being born in a wealthy family had brought me many things, my terrible ego being one of them. I was the center of attention everywhere I went – the theaters, the balls, the races. Ever since I was a child, I attended every race that was held in town, watching the horses gallop through the wind, focused on the finishing line. A few years later, I was the one sitting on top of a horse – Lucky –, staring at the faint, red-coloured line on the ground. As the sound of the gunshot echoed through the field, Lucky started galloping as fast as he could, leaving all the other contestants behind. We had won the last four races so why would today be any different?

Everything went by so quickly. The stumble, the panic, the fall. Crack. If I had kept my eyes on the finish line instead of the audience cheering for me, none of this would have happened. My selfish ego. Now I’m nothing more than a tree.

My thoughts were interrupted by a scratch coming from my left. The two girls who were eating earlier were now standing in front of me, giggling. The scratching continued. Soon after, they walked away holding hands.

Carved in me were the initials C + B with a heart hugging them.

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