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?


1. Prologue



*Seven Years Earlier*


Pink petals flutter down from the tree, falling onto the open book page, forming a pretty pattern. The owner of the book cocks her head to one side and smiles. It reminds her of something, something special to her: her mother.


The girl’s mother is seriously ill, the doctor says. The doctor also says that there is high risk that she could die. However, the girl chooses to ignore these ‘if’s and ‘maybe’s because she knows her mother won’t die and she knows that her mother will soon get better.


A boy walks up the hill to the blossom tree and sits down beside the girl. They do not greet each other, as spoken words mean nothing; it’s the words never said that matter. The two children speak through silence, as silence is bliss.


The boy and the girl sit side by side, now looking over into the horizon. Orange rays fall over the grassy hills, then shining onto the bleak houses. This is the most beautiful time of day, when everything is still and the only noise is of the occasional humming of an engine.


*Three years later*


The girls head is propped upon her knees, her blonde hair fluttering slightly in the warm summer’s breeze. Again, the boy walks up the hill, looking as handsome as ever. They’re fourteen now, and times have never been tougher.


The girl’s mother has just died, two years after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The boy tucks the flower he had picked at home behind the girls ear.


“Hey, Evelyn,” he whispers. He knows he won’t get a reply, he never does. But this has become a pattern: him walking up the hill, tucking a different flower behind her ear and whispering hello to her. He also counts the days in his head, since this now come tradition had started: 98 times.


Evelyn just stared off into space, as she usually did. She hadn’t been the same since that day. That unfortunate day. The boy glances sideways at her from the horizon and sees a flicker in the girl’s eyes.


“Hey, Finch,” the boy swears he hears Evelyn say. After all, she did move her lips when the voice had sounded. Finch just sits there, staring at her. It is something special, Evelyn had spoke for the first time in nearly 100 days...


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