The Weeping Willow – Short Story by Elene Beridze

Honestly, I’m Shivering

Rustling leaves, murmuring breeze, minuscule ants, indistinct music from her earphones. Sitting on one of the branches of the tree, she was in her sanctuary, alone. Whenever she felt inspired, sad, smothered her feet walked her there on their own. Leaving Founder’s hall, crossing through the quad, she took the road less taken by her kind (only commuters walked there). Walking by the castle and behind the chapel there was that tree, the old Willow lady standing there, smiling at her, calling for yet another rare visitor. She sat behind the green curtains, on one of the branches way above the ground, because, well, it just looked like it was created for someone to sit down. She sat there, drawing, writing, sometimes even just staring through the leaves at the sad sky (everything looks sad when you’re tired). But not that place. That place is full. It’s alive. And it’s not greedy. It gives away the energy, the peacefulness it has acquired through the many decades of growing up. But the Willow was probably as grumpy and as unsatisfied when she was just a seed, just like her rare visitors. That’s why, feeling the compassion for her little friends she was exceptionally generous with the energy she gained from the sun. Even the wrinkles, the carvings on her body turnedher more loving, because they showed her how much humans needed to prove their love in silly ways. And she kept the secrets, every trip one half of the couple took to her, crying and stroking the initials written in the heart, she hugged them with her green strands hanging down. The Lady Weeping Willow looks like she’s crying, but she was actually called the Weeping Willow because people found comfort when inside her green walls, enough comfort to weep. Well, at least that’s what she told me, the rare visitor sitting on her branch, now, even though it’s very cold and windy, and I keep shivering. But where else could I make her tell me her secrets. Especially that she gets so lonely when it’s cold. Naked branches, slicing wind, melody of silence, my retreat.

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