They were in love. The kind of love that only grows from having roots that share the same soil... that are intertwined from birth. As near one as two could ever be.
It was evening when he noticed the pink ribbon she wore.
“When did you…?”
“This morning,” she said. She was calm. Her voice as stilling as it had ever been. As if there was nothing to worry about.
“Why didn’t you…?”
She reached out to him.
“They weren’t certain. I knew you would worry… so I… I’m sorry. I wanted them to be certain first.”
“I know… I know you would have. And thank you, thank you.” She reached for his face. “I love you so very much. But there’s just nothing you can do. Not this time.”
“Nothing? They’re certain?”
He looked away… down, and she glanced there too, at the earth, solid and alive, under and around their feet. Then back up, at this tower that had been so bent by this silly, silly burden… her burden. She wanted to draw him to her, inside of her, where he could feel that she was not afraid, where he would understand that soon she would be more a part of him than ever.
“How long?” he asked.
“Tomorrow. The next day. Maybe.”
She felt the cool of his tears, like rain, and she knew that it was foolish, but she wished for one more gentle shower that they could dance in… before.
They woke to the sound of men and machines.
“Over there,” a voice said, “I’ve got her marked.”
“This one?” another voice asked.
“Yep. We’ll have to put a cable around her, pull her away from the house.”
“Get that cable over here!” someone shouted.
A chainsaw barked to life.
The morning was crisp and he wanted to draw her nearer, to feel more of her warmth, her life.
“I’m not going to let this happen to you,” he said.
“There’s nothing you can do,” she replied. “Don’t you see? I’ll be inside of you soon.”
“But… I’ll never see you again.”
“See me? Don’t be a silly boy. You will be me… and I will be you. Isn’t that better?”
“Yes… I suppose… but still…”
“Hush,” she said.
They listened to the careless men, tramping through the leaves and branches.
The chainsaw revved.
“No!” he shouted. His voice was so strong and loud that the ground shook and everything and everyone for miles around heard it and felt it. Everyone and everything but the men. Men are deaf.
They cut into her base and pulled her with the cables and drew her away from the house that she had cooled with her shade for years and years.
“It’s all right,” she told her love as the blades cut deeper. Her voice was a soft breeze. “It’s all right. Let it be…”
And she began to fall.
He wouldn’t listen… couldn’t listen. He reached as far as a tree could possibly reach and caught her in his topmost branches.
“Don’t,” she said. “Don’t. Let me fall.”
The men, who had scattered, began to gather back around his base.
“Well I never,” one of the men said.
“Let me go,” she begged her love.
“I can’t… I can’t,” he said.
Below, the men were looking up, rubbing chins and scratching heads, as men often will.
“What do you want to do?” one of the men asked.
“Drop it,” another man replied.
The chainsaw barked back to life.
And he did not... could not... let her go.
... a word of explanation... if needed... trees to be felled are often marked with pink paint or ribbon.