The Fruit Tree
The tree. Specifically, the strikingly tall avocado tree. Its shockingly deep hue of green, like a crisp dollar bill one would find in their pocket, and bristling with potential, it was my favorite thing in my backyard. For as long as I could remember, I would often go into the backyard and sit under it. Why was I drawn to it? Because of the fruit, how it felt, its mesmerizing beauty? I still ask myself to this day.
It was planted by my great-uncle, who loved the fruit so much as a kid, he planted a seed right here in the backyard. He was mischievous child, or so I was told- I never got to really know him before he died- yet I felt like we would have been the best of friends, if I wasn’t born at the wrong time. When the tree was first planted, he didn’t tell anyone, but eventually, a seedling popped out of the rough, moist soil. They wanted to pull it out. No one expected it to thrive here in such a terrible environment. Yet he insisted on letting it grow… and nature, with her mysterious ways, was able to flourish even through the toughest times.
At first, I was excited. Now, not so much. Why would I ask for that? I can’t play or hang out anymore. I had to keep quiet, I couldn’t invite anyone over. I didn’t know how anyone could handle babies. It was terrible. I remember back then, an only child. Coming home from school, hearing stories of fabled brothers and sisters, jealous of my classmates for having any siblings at all. I begged and begged and begged my parents for a baby. I could play with them, take care of them, and when they grew older, we would be the best of friends. But now, I’m struck back to reality. Now, every time I go to sleep, the cries as loud as a siren would ring throughout the house. Why do you wake up whenever I go to sleep? I hated it. I took it back. I don’t want a sibling, I told my parents. But it was too late, they said. Plus, there were two.
My family had pets. Not a dog, a cat, or even a fish like a normal family. No, we decided to have a turtle, and not just one, but three. My brothers were too young at the time, so I was able to name them. I named them after the ninja turtles- I was mad we didn’t get four, but one for each sibling I suppose. They weren’t a lot of work, just like fishes, but a bit slower. They were stinky too, but it didn’t bother me. I was fascinated by them, but then again, I was fascinated with everything as a kid. Donatello would eat a lot, then just sleep. Leonardo would climb everywhere. It was honestly hard to catch him, even though he was a turtle. Michelangelo was my favorite out of all of them. He had a scar on his shell, different. Like me. He always looked like he was always going somewhere with a purpose, even though he was trapped in our tiny home. One day, I saw Michelangelo wasn’t moving. I waited a few days, and he still wasn’t moving. Is he dead? I was shocked, I couldn’t believe it. I told my parents, and just went back to bed. The next morning, Michelangelo was moving again. Look, Michelangelo came back to life, they said. I believed them, but when I got a closer look, it was a different turtle. There was no scar. This wasn’t Michelangelo, so I renamed him Raphael.
Boredom. It strikes my life on a daily basis. I wake up every morning, and do the same thing each and every day. So I picked up a strange habit. Whenever I started to feel bored, which happens a lot, I would go outside, crouch down on the front steps in the front porch, and just watch the people around me. Luckily for me, my house was right on the intersection, so I got to see exciting stuff on a daily basis. The rushing cars in front of me, the blur of colors, the ample pedestrians. Usually, I would just sit outside and stare off into space, but occasionally something will catch my eye. This time, it was a sleek gray Lexus. I don’t know why it caught my eye, but it did. I knew it was going to be gone in a few seconds, so I just admired it before the light turned green. I looked across to see if anything else was going on and saw a lone person on the crosswalk. They looked like they were going somewhere with a purpose. They could have just finished work, going home to their family after a long day. All of a sudden, their silhouette was covered in the car’s headlights. Why was the car getting closer and closer? Did the driver not see the person? I glanced over and saw the light was still red. What was the driver thinking? The driver’s face was unforgettable. The look in his eyes screamed bloody murder. I wanted to save the pedestrian. I really did. But it was futile, I was just an observer, I couldn’t do anything. I just wanted to watch, and I ended up witnessing my first murder.
Our laughter rang throughout the house. Rose was super funny. Rose was the girl who lived across the street from us. Rose had an older brother, and a younger sister, who was scared of us. Rose’s older brother hung out with us from time to time, but I thought he was weird. I liked hanging out with Rose. Rose was only three years my senior, but Rose seemed like she understood the entire world. Rose told me one day that when she was older, she was going to leave this place and achieve her dream. Rose’s dream was to save lives. Because Rose wasn’t able to save her mom’s. I supported Rose. Rose wanted to be a doctor, but I thought she would be better suited to be a comedian. Our talks lasted hours, we always talked so much I thought it would never end. One minute we would talk about our day, the next we were contemplating our existence on this very Earth. One day, I got a call in the middle of the night. It was from Rose. Was something wrong? I picked it up. Dead? Who was dead? Rose was dead? Rose was dead. She got hit by a car while saving someone else. I cried. But at least she died following her dreams, right?