“Emily, can we go to the forest?” My little sister Tanya asked me.
Uncertain, I asked my brothers, “Jacob, Ryan, do you think we can go outside and into the forest? It is really sunny today.”
Both of my brother’s blue eyes shot up and then they looked at each other. “Sure, why not? That should be exciting,” said Jacob, my oldest freckle-faced brother.
Ryan, my other brother, stood up and grabbed his shoes. “Let’s go then,” he smiled and ran out the door. My siblings and I followed, grabbing our shoes as well.
Outside, the sun was shining and it was a perfect cloudless sky. Beautiful, I thought, like the scenery from a book. Jacob was pulling me closer to him as if he was afraid I’d get lost before I got near the forest. Getting lost was one of my many talents. No one liked it though. I held onto his hand as we walked closer to the forest.
When we were inside, I couldn’t help but gasp. I had never seen something so magical. The forest was amazing. Both my brothers’ mouths were open. Tanya just stood there, her red hair whipping Jacob in the face. I started walking forward. They looked at me like I was crazy. I looked back and motioned them to come with me.
As we walked, we became more and more amazed. We stopped by an old tree. Then, suddenly I heard a sound. I looked around and saw different shadows. “Sorry dear, are you new here? I haven’t seen you around much,” I looked around, hoping to see the sight of the mystical voice I heard.
“Over here,” the voice chuckled. I looked to where the sound came from and stood there open-mouthed. My siblings had heard it too and were looking at the tree, the same way I was. The tree was old, not just old but ancient.
Ryan recovered first, “Umm, no to be rude or anything but what are you?” he asked bluntly.
“I’m a tree,” The tree looked as confused as Ryan, Jacob and me. Tanya just smiled.
“No, what he means is that, why can you talk?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s because you’re in this forest. It’s magical. If you’re lucky then, you may see different animals.” It smiled.
I looked at my watch and saw my reflection, a messy blond bun and green eyes piercing the watch. Then, I paid attention to the time. It was 8:00 p.m. “Guys, we have to go back. We can come back tomorrow,” I told them. They said their goodbyes and walked out following me.
The next day, we went back to the forest. I thought this was all a dream. I stood in front of the tree and just asked the question in my head, “Was it all a dream?” The tree smile and shook its head.
Jacob let out a breath, “Thank god, I would be so scared that my imagination goes that far,” I laughed.
Every day, we came back to talk to the tree. It told us different stories about what it has seen. Today, everyone but me went. I had to finish my chores. When I got to where my siblings were, they were sad.
“What happened?” I asked.
“The tree is getting weaker, Emily. Soon, the forest will disappear. It has to die now, it has been alive for too long,” Tanya was crying. I hugged her and whispered to her it would be alright. I think I am trying to convince myself and not her.
“Don’t worry about me. I have to go sometime and this is the moment when I go,” The tree smiled. I smiled back, knowing that the moments we had with the tree were the best.
“What will happen once you die?” I knew the answer but I wanted more information.
“Well, the forest will disappear. The animals will too,” I was even more depressed. The animals were great friends with us.
Weeks passed and the tree grew worse. My siblings and I were in constant worry.
When we went got ready to go to the forest, Jacob said, “How long ‘till the tree is gone?”
“I’m hoping it’s not soon,” I answered.
“I hate to break your bubble, but it’s gone,” Ryan said. “The forest isn’t there.”
We all rushed outside and gasped. It was truly gone. Nothing stood there. I ran around in circles hoping this was just a joke. “Emily,” Jacob reached out and hugged me. “We know you were most attached but its ok. You’ve got us,”
“You’re right. I should forget about this,” I smiled hoping that I was convincing them. But really, no one could understand the ach in my heart that I felt.
That night, I walked back outside and went to where I thought that the tree might have stood. It was far away from my house. I sat down and stared at the stars. I even cried a bit. Someone patted my shoulder and I looked up. It was my sister.
“Let’s go inside now. It’s getting really cold,” said Tanya. I nodded, shivering a little.
“You get going; I’ll join you in a second. I want to be here for a moment longer,” Tanya nodded and walked away. I let the last of my tears fall and I stood up.
“Emily, you’re not alone. I will always be here watching you and your siblings,” I heard that mystical voice again. I smiled, “I will be here whenever you need me,” I nodded.
Years passed by, the forest never grew again. But I was satisfied.
Foram is a LEARNA HEARTLAND (Mississauga) student. Foram is a very talented grade 7 student. She is highly imaginative and attending CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM at LEARNA HEARTLAND
The program hase been developed and organized by CROSS CURRENTS Indo Canadian International Arts.
Contact: 905 819 8142 LEARNA HEARTLAND MISSISSAUGA for creative writing