“If it was not for that lone tree, I would… “‏ by Ilsa Tariq

"Even the most dumb person would understand!" exclaimed my mum. 

Her commandments and advice pass over my head like the slight blowing of the evening wind; it is never noticed or paid importance to. I continue to fill my bag with every possible tool I find, even a broken iron nail. I turn to her side with my  arms folded, "Mum, even the most wise person would take my side. I cannot believe it that you agree on such things." She snatches my bag in a sudden attempt to drop all of my tools and files but fails. My tight grip on the handle shows how determined I am to carry on with my exploration on the 'Isolated Hills', on the outskirts of the city.

I paste the map on the other side of the car's windscreen. My eyes fall on the rear window and I see my mum's disappointed face. I ignore the feeling of guilt and regret building in my mind.

I race my car towards the other side of the city. I could not believe it that I was going to carry an expedition of gold and silver remains on the 'Isolated Hills' — Hills which people fear to even speak about. They say that it has been possessed by spirits since the beginning of time and no exploration of minerals has ever been carried out because of dreadful, harrowing incidents. I was the only daughter among my eight sisters who had big goals to accomplish and a vision, while the others turned out to be typical self-obsessed girls. I had to do this. 

An hour slips by in a matter of what seemed like minutes and I park my car far away from the hills. I peek out from my window and it's tall, broad structure with around a thousand of rare species of wild trees is enough to pull my beating heard out of my chest. I wrap my bag's strap around my shoulder and turn on the flashlight. I reach the foothills and I am surrounded by a torrent of gusty trees. The moon is barely visible and portrays itself as a ghostly galleon over misty clouds. I begin climbing up tracks which are less challenging and believe me, in a matter of seconds, my flashlight goes off. Did I not change its battery last night? After a few morbid thoughts of me ending up here, I recognise the tree everyone told tales about. It's bright gold branches outshine the uncomfortable darkness in the distance. What if this is the one? I thought. 

A bright side lightens up in me which brings courage to my soul. All those myths and happenings are false. Nothing has happened and I have found one platinum reserve in no time — a tree with white gold batches! I hike through perilous obstacles and I am only a few feet away from the tree. It's branches overcast one-third of the hill. I walk towards it as I cowardly stretch my hand to hold one of its powerful branches. Yes! I manage to get hold of it. My triumphant thought is interrupted by a squeaky scream in the distance. It begins to get louder after a moment. Not just louder... Deeper as well. Am I dreaming or possibly hallucinating? The tree's beaches shake, enough to make me fall on the dry grass. A black liquid secretes out of my skin as I yelp. My entire self is confused, unable to digest what is happening. I hear horrid, life-threatening sounds and cries of agony. The world spins around me as I am surrounded by... Things. Demons. I feel a sharp edgy object pierce through my chest, black swirls form in front of my vision. 

If it was not for that lone tree, I would have given up. I would have run back home and apologised for being so ignorant. I would abandon my ambitious self and become like my obedient sisters— simple but self-obsessed. Believe me, I would. I can do anything right now just to live and breathe one last time. Life is beautiful, why had not I realised that before? If only maturity crept into me. If only I realised how dumb I was. Even the most dumb person would understand. Mum, forgive me.

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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