I didn’t mean to fall, but I suppose I did. I closed my eyes for just a second. It all happened so quickly. It wasn’t the highest branch I fell from, but it wasn’t the lowest either. And strange, when I did fall, it didn’t feel fast. In fact, it felt quite slow. Deliberately so. So I fell and the closer I got to the ground, the slower I fell until I landed so softly on the forest floor – standing upright – that the ground and leaves underneath were still and undisturbed. And speaking of the leaves, they were suddenly yellow when just seconds before they were a deep emerald green. I took a few steps and looked up. All of the leaves were yellow, and there was a stillness in the air that somehow felt different, foreign, which makes no sense because this was my tree.
My tree. A tree I had climbed almost everyday after school. It’s where I studied and where I pondered things that one ponders while sitting in a tree. But today, I had landed in the same place but everything was slightly off. I looked ahead at the trail and felt a strange tickle in the air. The yellow leaves rustled and then settled. The large fallen branch that always blocked the path was now cut in two, inviting me closer. Someone, or something was watching. I wasn’t sure if I should walk the path or not, but for now, it looked safe enough. And so I went.