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?


3. The Story of Us

Finch makes me smile... a lot. He’s always cracking funny jokes or complimenting me on the most abnormal details; He’s just wonderful.


Him being a funny lad is how we met, when we were seven years old. He had stole my pencil case and was using it as an aeroplane, flying it around the classroom, making all of the annoying sounds. I hadn’t zipped it up and all my felt tips and crayons came crashing to the floor and I started crying, me being the sensitive girl I am.


He bent down to pick them up, just as I did and we looked up and smiled at each other. It was kind of like those cheesy rom-coms where boy and girl meet in unlikely occasion then fall in love, have an argument, get back together to find the boy is cheating on the girl, seven years after that they meet in college again and end up married with ten children. But we didn’t fall in love in the ‘I-love-you-lets-get-married’ kind of way; the ‘I-love-you-lets-be-best-friends-for-life’ way.


The story of us is brilliant and that day (October 30th) will forever remain in my heart.


“Evie, what are you thinking about?” Finch asks, searching my face. “The day we first met?” I nod, closing my eyes, savouring the moment. A smile dances it’s way along Finch’s lips and it spreads into a great grin.


“Yeah, I remember that day, I was the handsome seven year old who came along and helped you pick up your crayons!” he comments, “ah, happy times.”


A jingle of my phone takes me away from the wonderful moment; who can it be?


/Hey Darling, dinner will be ready in about ten minutes. Finch: Please come for dinner, it would be nice for Eve to have a friend around/


I look at Finch hopefully, so he nods along, smiling.


“Yeah, my parents are away this weekend, so I’ll be happy for dinner!”


“Bye, Finch! Feel free to come around anytime!” my dad calls as Finch leaves. He replies he will and leaves. My dad hugs me when the door is shut.


“I love you, baby. You going to go to bed? We need to be up early. Surprise time!” my dad whispers into my hair. I nod and with one last kiss on the cheek, I’m gone.


I personally think my bedroom is truly beautiful; so did my mother. The walls are a light sky blue, with my bed in the left corner, facing the window, with it’s patchwork quilt my grandmother made me neatly folded on the edge. An old, oak wardrobe stands on a side. A chair is by the window on the opposite end with a desk. That’s where I mainly draw and write my stories and songs. The sloping ceiling is covered in drawings and of the things and people I love more than anything in the world and lyrics of the songs I love and write.


I grab my pajamas from underneath my pillow and stride into my en suite. Dad insisted I got this bedroom, after I had drew how I wanted it to look. Changing extremely quickly, I think about what it would be like if mum was still here. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.


She would have come rushing into my bedroom, her smile that would put Mr. Sunshine to shame playing on her lips. She would exclaim that she had this wonderful new idea for a book and that she needed my help. The idea would have come spilling out of her mouth and I would add bits and bobs in.


Within about an hour, my dad would come up, smiling too. He would ask what all of the excited jabbering was about and what mad idea my mother had now. My mum and I would start to tell, but give up when he started tickling us both.


All that is gone now. Gone to cancer.


I stare at my reflection in the mirror and wonder why am I doing all of this reminiscing and remembering. Nothing will benefit out of it, and all it will cause is me to be upset. Turning away from the mirror after brushing my teeth, my feet pad over to my bed, where I climb in and settle down.


Shooting up out of my bed, my face is lathered in sweat, my bed clothes everywhere. I remembered again, remembered that moment when my world had came crashing into itself, slowly and painfully imploding.


“Evie, open the door for me, darling,” my father’s soft voice calls, knocking lightly on the door. The floorboards creak as I walk to the door to open it. My father’s signature scent  bursts in with him as he wraps me in a big hug.


“I heard screaming and crying. Are you okay?” he says to me in a hushed, soft tone. I nod, being thankful for the great father I have.


He holds me for about five minutes, just sitting on the edge of my bed. I cannot tell what time it is as my father is in the way of my clock and my blackout curtains are still closed tight. It feels like morning, though.


“Come on then, get dressed. We have somewhere to go today!” Ah, so it is morning!


Daddy leaves the room so I can change and so he can make our breakfast. Opening the wide oak doors of my wardrobe, the masses of clothes, old and new, are unbelieveable. I may not talk, but I do love clothes; I’m a girl, am I not?


After going over the whole rack twice, I settle on a flowing white dress, brown cowboy boots and a cardigan. Don’t know why, I just want to give off that summer country vibe.


Disappearing into my bathroom again for five minutes, I start to wonder what dad has actually planned. A picnic, a walk or maybe a lunch somewhere. Money is tight for us nowadays, being a single income family. Finch, bless him, tried to get his parents to give us a loan, a few months back, but my father protested, saying he couldn't possibly take the money. I'm glad he didn't, or else I would have been plagued by everything we bought, that annoying little voice nagging me in the back of my head.


“Oh, don’t you look pretty,” my father tells me as I walk downstairs, but there is a pain in his eyes. At first, I don’t know what is wrong, but then it hits me: I look like my mum.


It sounds very vain, but I am the spitting image of my mother, who was very beautiful in all of the pictures, and of my memory. When we had closed the coffin on the day I never even want to think about, she looked as pretty as a picture: hair fanned out behind her, her snowy skin looked as soft as ever but the only thing missing was her blue eyes, as bright as the Turkish sea. That and the rise and fall of her chest, proving she was still alive.


“Come on, let’s not dawdle, eat up and we’ll be going!”


Half an hour later, I am sitting in the front of the car, watching the overgrown bushes and grass go by in a blur. The radio is playing quietly in the background and as I am about to turn it off, I hesitate and turn it up instead. It’s my song, the one my mum always sang to me when I was little. The words mix in my head, replaying many childhood memories.


“Ah, it’s your song,” my dad comments and hums along to the tune. I remember times when my mother would start singing it, picking me up and twirling me about; I would laugh so hard tears would form in my eyes.


“Close your eyes, Evie,” so I do, trying to suppress a grin. My father and I have a strong relationship and I love him more than anything in the world. He and Finch, the two men in my life right now.


“Now you can open them!” but frowns when he sees my expression: we’re at grandma and grandad’s house.


“Oh, Evelyn, I’m sorry. I thought it’d be time for you to finally talk to your grandparents again, but as your mum grew up in this house, it may be a bit much. I am genuinely sorry, darling,” he apologises. “Would you like to go back home?”

I shake my head and unbuckle my seatbelt, smiling to myself when I see dad’s expression.


“That’s my girl!”


Grandma and Grandad’s house smells of memories, if that doesn’t sound weird. All of my memories of mum smell like this place: constantly of apple pie and cinnamon, Grandma’s special Christmas pudding. Nothing has changed since I last walked into this hallway. The same pictures are dotted about on the wall, the same wallpaper is up and the same furniture is about. Tears prick at my eyes as I take in all of it. It reminds me so much of mum.


“Apologies if it is a little dusty, your Grandfather here has collapsed on the sofa after golfing. And my, haven’t you grown?” Grandma bustles down the hallway, wiping her floury hands down her flowery apron.


Smiling slightly, I look down at the floor.


“Barry! Get up and come and see your beautiful granddaughter!” she shouts at him and I hear the old sofa creak as he slowly gets up.


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