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[SHORT] The Fall

I’ve never been more misunderstood.
She has been my favourite leaf in the forest. Ever so green and fresh, that I sometimes thought of butterflies as dumb beings chasing flowers all around. I’m the red tattooed chameleon. The flame color keeps on growing on my body everyday. The weird giant monsters who walk on just two hands have given me a ‘red harlequin gecko’ name. I don’t care about them.

I’ve been here for a few months now. I usually start my day with a cricket in the lucky mornings, followed by a visit to the pond nearby. I have a lot of friends, and the good ones always figure out where I am, regardless of what colored dress I wear. And, when I’m done with all the work and the food, I come back for the trek. I try to reach up to the twig of my favourite leaf, to spend the night by her side. She never spoke too much, but oh! She shines so bright in the morning, it takes my breath away. I love jumping and playing around on that twig even though my flame color is safer on the trunk.
I had heard from my brother about a time that will come and make the leaves orange too, and that then will be the time to bid goodbye to them. I don’t know when that time may arrive, and this has always kept an upsurge in me for climbing up the long tree every single evening, so I could spend some time in the shade around her.

Last night, while I was having fun around her, she broke off from the twig. I screamed to the top of my voice, but she kept floating in the air. I sprinted down to catch her, but the wind carried her away. I drowned more than she fell last night. This was the first time perhaps, that the shade from the sky felt unhealthy. I was waiting for the light of the morning, so I could see the brightest shining leaf and find her out again. And, all this while, the typhoon that took her away, also stormed out voices from her sisters on the same twig. The rustlers all started blaming me for teasing her every night. They told me she flew away because of me, and that she has never been able to shine under the moon because of him. I couldn’t believe all that I was being accused of.

I never meant to hurt her. I wish she knew, and to tell her as soon as the sky lit up, I searched for her, rushing and crawling a hundred thousand steps, only until the evening came back again, and I didn’t ascend that tree this time. I wish she heard all of my thoughts. I wish I had known hers.

Tonight’s shade is inhospitable and chilly. I will wait for beam of the morning, so I could start my quest again. I like to think that she might have noticed me going orange these days, and decided to bid me goodbye. I’ll ask her when I find her.

Or, probably, I’ve never misunderstood someone so much.

Published in Short Stories


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