“If it was not for that lone tree, I would…” by Zaina Shahab

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“Hanna! Hanna! Hanna, wake up! Hanna, I swear if you do not wake up in the next second, I will throw a bucket of ice water on top of you!”

At the sound of this my eyes shot open and I jolted out of my warm bed, landing on the floor with a thud. I looked up to see my best friend, Aria, clutching her stomach and laughing like a maniac with tears streaming down her now pink cheeks.

I got up from my uncomfortable position on the ground and walked over to her while rubbing my poor head.

“Mind telling me why you woke me up from my deep slumber, threatened me, made me fall off my bed and are now laughing like an abnormal person?” I asked with a frown etched on my forehead.

“Oh my god! Your reaction was priceless! Anyway, I woke you up because we have to get ready for a party.” said Aria with a huge grin on her face.

Hold up! Did she just say party? God, please no. If there is one thing in this world that I despise, it is parties. I absolutely cannot stand them. Why? Well, because there is illegal drinking and these parties are usually filled with creepy people from underground gangs.

I sighed and walked over to my closet to pick out a dress for the party as I knew arguing with Aria would be of no use. She is more stubborn than a child who wants ice-cream. Knowing her, she would probably go to the extent of kidnapping me and taking me to this party if I did not quietly agree to go myself.

I picked out a long black lace gown and hurried to change before Aria got angry. Trust me, that is not something you want to see. After changing and cleaning myself up, I let Aria get to the job of making me look pretty.

After about two hours of torture, Aria and I were finally ready to go. Aria looked beautiful in a plain red gown and blood red high heels. She had straightened her shoulder length, chocolate brown hair with minimal eye makeup and a bright red lipstick. I, on the other hand, looked very natural with nude makeup and silver high heels.

I grabbed my purse and we headed to this party which I found out had been hosted by some senior boy from school. We reached there in about ten minutes. As I entered the house, I was greeted by deafening music blasting from the speakers.

Aria went to get us drinks and I took the time to search for some familiar faces in the crowd. Eventually, my eyes did fall upon two familiar faces, but they were certainly not the people I was hoping to see tonight. My breath hitched in my throat and my body froze.

After staying frozen for about a minute, I saw the two men making their way towards me through the crowd. That is when I ran. Without sparing them a second glance, I ran out of the door and down the street. I ran for God knows how long until I reached a long tree, standing in the middle of nowhere.

Breathing heavily, I turned around, eyes frantically searching for the two monsters, but could not see them. However, it was not long before I heard voices, voices I would recognize anywhere. Knowing I would not be able to run any further, I decided to climb up the tree. It looked difficult to climb, but I knew I could do it; after all, I was a professional tree climber, though no one knew about it.

I finally reached the top of the tree and sat myself on a branch that looked strong enough to hold me. I looked down to see the monsters arguing over which way I went. I knew they could not climb trees, so I was safe up here.

My breathing returned to normal, but all my memories came flooding back to me and I let out a quiet sob. These two men used to be my brother’s best friends, but my brother passed away in a car accident two years ago. He owed them some money and they did not let go of that even after his death. They never went to my parents, but they always came to me, abused me, threatened me, to give them money.

After waiting for what seemed like hours, I finally climbed down, seeing that the coast was clear. I called Aria, asking her to pick me up. When I reached home, I fell asleep the second my head the pillow, with just one thought in my head, “If it was not for that lone tree, I would have probably been dead”.

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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