As Long as She

Edith walks, slowly now, cautious so to protect her frail exterior. Her nose scrunching up at the familiar scents and smells swirling around her, encapsulating her in a memory. Her sapphire eyes, dancing like the night lights in the northern sky.

Edith” she hears the young woman’s distant, frantic call as she searches for her. Through tree’s, down paths, behind flower bushes.

Humming lightly, Edith carries on walking, a light smile on her face. For she was not running away, she was searching. The path it twists and turns, as does she in toe. Her feet, dragging against the dirt and the stones.

Edith” she hears her call again, now louder and closer than it had ever been. A groan escaped her lips as she picked up her pace.

A tall familiar tree, sat upon a hill on the horizon. Her eyes, fixed upon it, pinned there now, with her heart. Tears fall from her eyes, gliding gently down the soft creases in her cheeks. Her muscles weak, aching yet her soul; her diamond soul shone bright. Controlling her body, her movement’s robotic now as she carried on her pursuit

Reaching the end of the dirt path, she sighed gently, gazing upwards now, at the tree. “Almost there” she whispered the words to herself. Her breathing uneven now, her throat aching with every shallow breath. The bitter night’s air, nipped aggressively at her bare arms. Red spots develop upon her ankles from the nettle’s that swarmed the nearby forest. Their sting, hushed by the past which echoes here.

Climbing the green mass of hope, her vision blurring now with tears. Tears she’d once forbade for fear they’d drown her.

Edith” she hears the voice once again, loud and rife. A hand on her shoulder, stopping her in her tracks. Turning her head, she saw her, stood tall, the fading sunlight shimmering against the auburn waterfall, flowing from her cranium. She studied her sapphire eyes, filled with love, excitement, pain and fear.

Don’t worry about me sweetheart, I’ll be just fine” she hummed, tip-toeing she placed a gentle kiss on her cheek before turning back. For the job was not done and she wouldn’t leave until it was.

Edging closer she could see, small pink flower buds forming on the twisting branches of the old apple tree. A wooden bench sat in front of it, weak and rotting, a reminder that her tree would soon join it too.

This tree, her father had planted for her when she was only young. An apple tree, her father had said, will live a hundred years, as long as she. Now, she grew old, withering away with the tree. Her memories withered with it as did her family. So, she befriended this young lady, who visited her often. With looks like her daughters and a smile like her own.

Now she stood, aged 93, one last boost of energy to see that tree once more. Her body ached now as she took her last steps toward that bench. Perching down upon it, her fingertips stroking circles upon the wood where she’d carved her name so many years ago. Her eyes flickered shut, as she drifted to sleep, beneath the tree that would live as long as she.

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