I woke in the dark, looking up at the night sky, stars glittering. I couldn't blink, couldn't speak. I wondered where you had gone, surely you would not have left me alone. I waited in silence as the stars shifted overhead, a lone tree my only friend. I was only thirty-three.
Daybreak came, and the unrelenting sun, dappled my body with shadow, and then none. I looked, but could not see, a house, a road, or even another tree, so that's where I stayed, even as my body began to waste away.
The days came and went. The nights were long and lonely, except for that one coyote. I ventured from my tree a little more each day, but I found only more of the same. A vast expanse of open plain. I was only thirty-three.
Sometimes I was strong and rational, other times I reverted to a child, crying for my mother and hoping my daddy would pull up in his old, rackety car and take me home. Home. A concept with which I was becoming rapidly unfamiliar. Comforts lost. Alone. In the dark, in the light. I wondered where you'd gone. Home was now my tree. Even when my hair began to fray, and fall away. I didn't even care anymore, not really.
I tried to remember what had happened, how I'd even gotten here, where 'here' even might have been. I thought of you, and of family, and of friends. Sometimes I talked to my tree, since it was my only company. I thought we had been happy, you and me. How you made me shine on our wedding day, our parents were so proud. You lavished me with attention and gifts and dinners out and made me laugh at every opportunity. I thought we were happy.
Then it seemed like all our friends, started having kids, making 'families' of their own. New traditions and first steps and birthday parties, but I was always just looking in. Whenever I brought up the idea of beginning a 'family' of our own, you'd merely laugh, or smile, as if it didn't really matter and say we were too young or that it wasn't the right time or maybe next year. You said you wanted to give me all your attention, that we should take advantage of our youth, that there was plenty of time for making babies another day. I believed you. I thought we were happy.
Discussions turned to arguments, arguments turned to raised voices and heated tempers. I began to realize it was not me you wanted to lavish with attention, but perhaps it was you who wanted all of mine. I was only thirty-three. I should not have mentioned divorce, I was angry, and hurt, and you gave me 'that look.' I should have known better. 'That look,' the one you only ever got when the discussion was over, the one that warned to push you no further. I remember I went to bed alone that night.
That night. 'That look.' It all comes back to haunt me now, as I stare up at the stars, ever shifting overhead. I don't blink, I don't speak, I don't even cry. I remember every word you said, hovering over me in the bed. I was scared, I'd never seen you that way, teeth gritted and lips in a snarl. I told you I would never leave. I heard every word you said, as you ranted into the night, and in our bed. I heard you, even when the darkness overtook my head.
I was only thirty-three, the night you killed me. Now I'm just a memory, a ghost who haunts this tree. My body long decayed. The nights are long, and my heart dismayed. Maybe one day, I'll just blow away.