The Apple Tree


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2. The tree

The shopping centre was open at 10 o'clock and Mel and I headed straight into the cafe. I have never understood why, but It was always the first place that we went to. We bought a drink and chatted about utter nonsense until Mel brought up the subject of boys.

I had always wanted a boyfriend. A relationship that always worked perfectly, like in the movies. I knew it was never like that, but we all had our dreams. Mel on the other hand; I didn't understand why she turned down every boy that asked her out! She had so many offers... even from this boy she had fancied for ages!

"You seem so quiet today Charlee, almost distant? I think that we should skip the shopping today and head to our place just outside town" she said.

"I agree. I'm not really in the mood for shopping"

                                                                                             * * * * * *

The leaves of the tree were beginning to brown as autumn came around. The apples obviously hadn't been touched and had all fallen to the bare ground. No grass grew under the tree, maybe because of the lack of sunlight or maybe just coincidence from what had happened here in the past.

I remembered the night that my mum brought me to this tree. In fact, I remember the whole story behind it.

My sister had passed away with a tumour. Nobody knew that she had it, it was only discovered when we found her lying in her bed, motionless... It must be so horrible to go to sleep thinking about the next day ahead ... and never wake up. My dad had left ages ago, when my mother chucked him out the house. My mum had always loved me, always tried her best to look after me but one day things seemed to change.

There was a different look in her eyes. A raw edge that I hadn't ever seen before. She looked scruffier than normal and she began to blame me for the death of my sister. I would overhear her muttering to herself about 'the tree'. I never understood what 'The tree' was, but it seemed to affect her.

It was on a Tuesday and I remember it clearly because I noticed another difference in my mother... she had began to have 'midnight screams'. She would wake up in the middle of the night and scream into her pillow as if somebody had just stabbed her. I realised a little too late that I needed to get help.

On the Tuesday, after I had come home from school. My mum said that she wanted to take me somewhere special. The place that she had met my dad.

She said that she was going to get a picnic ready, and that I should change into something I wouldn't mind getting dirty. If I'm completely honest I was quite excited. Mum hadn't asked me to do anything with her for what felt like years, so I changed into my jeans and black jacket and put on the pink and green wellies my grandmother had bought for me.

"It isn't far" she said, placing the picnic basket in the boot of the car. "Just 20 minutes and we'll be there!"

She was right and she pulled the car into a layby. There was a wood about 10 metres from where the car was parked and mum told me to take the basket and meet her by the apple tree. She looked almost dazed but I ignored it, thinking that it was just the light. By now it had gotten slightly darker. Still light, but the sky had turned a darker shade of blue.

 

 

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