The door behind me bangs loudly, shutting out the shouting voice of the man I love. Running down the flat stairs to the main door, his rough pleading voice is still ringing in my ear. Damn him! I should have known this was coming. The business of Victoria Road during rush-hour, rival the loudness of his voice, both fighting each other for supremacy. My legs start running slowly, trying to take me away from the busy streets, trying to get away from the flat, trying to get away from the loud voice piercing my ears.
Passing by a few different characters, I put on a smile. My usual genuine smile, which often does a pretty good job of hiding my feelings, but this time it fails to. The smell of fresh grass and the sound of chattering birds have replaced the frustration of car horns and fumes. After inhaling fresh air a few times, my heart lightens. My mind starts to clear up.
My eyes scan the engravings on the tree trunk until I find the words I have been looking for among the crowded names. I touch the carved words and place my index finger into the hollows of the letters, following the shapes; ‘I love you’. My heart fills with sudden warmth, I miss this tree. The carved words have been there for three years. The tree has been part of my life for so long. I sit in an armchair-shaped hollow root, the spot where I used to sit. I rest my arms on the roots, the indulgence of the summer warmth and tranquility makes me forget reality.
On the same bright day, ten years ago, I skinned my knees near it, and cried under it. Since then, I always visit this tree. The tree has been with me all the time; let me read books under it during fine day, let me studied under the branches densely with leaves during spring holidays on the preparation for my exams, volunteered being a shelter against the bright sun on summer days, witnessed my excitements with the falling leaves of autumn, listened to my conversation with my ex-boyfriends on the phone, and somehow calmed me down when I was heartbroken few times.
Apart from all those memories this tree was also once a place for my sanctuary. It was twilight, I had run away from home and settled down here, right here, and carved those three words. No one ever knew my ‘secret place’, but in some way he knew. That same night, he brought me home. The thought of him makes me remember the arguments we have just had. I was so hot-tempered, why did I detest him? I should not have. Guilty squirms in my stomach make me uneasy. I stand up. A subconscious urge leads me back home.