Flash Fiction: A Lesson from a Tree

Vania Nurmalita


This has been my tenth time climbing this tree that everyone used to call pohon randu or kapok tree. I am much experienced and excited as this one is taller than the trees I have climbed before. It has numerous branches covered with thorns, beautiful orange flowers, and the fruit is green, shaped like a long mango but unfortunately the fruit cannot be eaten. I am so lucky that my new gang showed me the tree.
Few days ago, after going home from school, I played with my friends. All of them are girls and we used to play in our neighbor’s front yard. But somehow I feel so bored to play with them since they always play the same game every day. So the next day, instead of just having a nap in my room, I made a plan to play with the boys. It is not a big deal for me because I think I am quite easy-going and not a whiny girl one. And here I am. Up on the tree. I was sitting on a branch which I named it by my name; Rara’s branch, when Aji starts the conversation.
“Have you heard the news?”
“What?” Damar who is busy counting the TV antennas from a far, stopped, and ask curiously.
“I heard that Abah will cut down the trees in this yard”, Abah is the yard’s owner, who has been very nice to let us climb his kapok tree every day, “perhaps our headquarters will also be cut down.” Aji tells us calmly as if there is nothing to happen.
“Why?” Abil asks.
Aji shrugs his shoulder, “Perhaps he is just bored. I guess we have to find our new headquarter soon.”
I feel so much emotion in my chest till I cannot help to burst the question. “But why?! He knows this tree is our headquarters, why would he cut it? We should ask him to keep this tree!”
Everybody stares at me, until Aji responses “it is still a guess, Ra, and I don’t think we can stop him. Besides, we can find another tree for our headquarters.”
I come home with anger and a flustered mind. How come boys are so insensitive? I start to remember the memories I have on the tree. The moment I realized that the sky is so beautiful, and I am feeling so small under the sky. The smell of the branch after the rain, and the jokes that we told to each other on it are just too memorable. I fell asleep in the night, after praying, hoping that my kapok tree will still be there tomorrow.
The next day, I run to where the kapok tree is, in my school uniform, and I find only the tree stump. The tree is being cut down and now Abah’s yard become so hot since there is no tree shades. I cried secretly in my room as no one understand my feeling towards the tree. My gang know my sadness and tell me they have found the new one. I climb our new headquarter the day after, and realized that it would never replace the kapok tree that I adore so much. And for the moment, I know that I still am a whiny girl for some things.

Word count: 550

Photo by: Vania Nurmalita

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