The Orange Tree

Grade: 
9

I remember. The orange groves. The rain. We were children then, and you told me you had a favorite tree, but I told you oranges are just oranges, that you can’t have a favorite tree with oranges. You pointed to one in the middle of the grove.

“That one,” you said, as you sat down beneath its leaves, letting your raincoat meld into the mud as you put your hand on the trunk. “It’s special. I feel it.”

I wanted to say something. I wanted to start an argument perhaps, wanted to see you mad for a while. For fun. But I held my breath as I sat down beside you, letting you ramble on and on, letting you speak your nonsense while I picked the dirt from underneath my nails and chewed them to stubs. I wish I saved your words in firefly jars, I wish I captured your smile and laugh in unbreakable amber. I wish I held onto you as time split us apart, and as I sit down beneath your favorite orange tree now, rotting and old, I’ll put my hand on the trunk as you did and try to feel something too.