Trees don’t know when someone is crying. They can’t tell if someone is hurting. They can’t hear a girl’s sobs, they can’t feel her leaning against their trunks for support, and they definitely do not care if she ever feels better.
And still, they never leave. Yes, this is because they are rooted firmly and most permanently into the hardened winter ground. But still, they never leave. So neither does she.
Unfailingly, she returns to the same covered part in the dense forest, to move from tree to tree and cry. Simply, cry.
You would think that the trees would have grown accustomed to seeing her here, that they would begin to expect to see her walking in from the path that leads people away in a different direction. But trees don’t remember, and they certainly don’t remember her.
Her cries are soft and pitiful, honest and beautiful. Loud enough to draw attention from the nearest birds, but not harsh enough to make them fly away.
She cries for an hour at least, walking on top of the pine needles and broken twigs that mirror her broken spirit. How sad can such a young girl be?
The smallest tree reaches out a low branch to her and offers a seat besides the wet earth. The girl accepts, but only rests her tiny, folded arms on the wood. Single tears fall at first, followed by drops that are much bigger and much sadder than the rain that slips away from heavy clouds.
She does not wipe them away, and the trees watch as she walks to another tree, one that has been carved in by others who have long ago forgotten about the life they once had.
The trees aren’t really watching, of course. They are just silently growing and weathering the wind and rain. Dying.
They will last, though. They will last long enough for the girl to stop crying, until she is ready to wipe her face with a sleeve that is so wet and carrying so many tears already. They will last, and they will wait. She is never alone, because they are always waiting.