The Cherry Blossom Tree

Emptiness and loneliness: the only two feelings Evelyn Baker has left after her mother died.

Joy and Warmth: what she feels when she is with her best friend, Finch.

One big choice took place years ago, but will it be lifted? Will the person who means the most to her in this world change it? Will the past be finally put to rest?

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4. Forever And Always

Chapter Three: Forever & Always

 

“So, Jack, how have you been keeping?” my grandmother asks my dad across the dinner table. Dad smiles, looking happy, probably as the silence is finally broken. I push the gravy covered mashed potatoes around my plate, lifting my gaze up. My grandad is staring at me, the wisest of his wise looks taking over his face.

 

“Darling, would you like some more food?” Grandma says again, trying her best to get me to look happy. Shaking my head, I put my knife and fork in the center of my plate to say I am finished.

 

“Thank you, Janet, so much for the lovely meal. It was nice to get Evie here out of the house for once. It has been wonderful for the both us,” Dad says, his chair scraping across the floor as I finish my dessert.

 

“I should thank you for bringing Evelyn to see us, it has been a great afternoon!” Grandma beams. “Barry, say goodbye!”

 

“Evelyn, come here,” he mumbles to me and makes his way upstairs. I follow, wondering what he has to show me.

 

As I reach the final step, I see just what my Grandad wants to show me.

 

The door to my mum’s old bedroom is wide open, and he is standing just beside it.

 

“Take all the time you need,” Grandad whispers, then ruffles my hair.

 

So now people would think I am  alone, yet to me, I am not. I have the presence of my loving mother around me as I step into her old bedroom. A marshmallow scent hits me as soon as I walk in, but fades after a few seconds.

 

Tears threaten to spill down my cheeks as I wander aimlessly around the small area, full of photos and scattered about notebooks. Pictures of a young Emma Kellan dot the walls, always with a friend or two. But my most favourite snapshot is of my mum and dad, sat in a park, dad staring at mum as she smiles at the camera. A tree behind, along with a picnic basket indicates they’re out in a park somewhere.

 

I move on from the pictures hanging on the wall to the open books and flick through the pages. Illustrations cover the pages, as well as beautiful handwriting flowing across the page.

So many memories come flooding back all at once, a tsunami of sadness. All those times she would come back to this very room, just to be surrounded by the long gone happiness of her younger years.

 

I knew she wasn't happy, even when she smiled that smile that could light up the whole town.

 
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