Young love is too soon torn apart. The short story of the love of a white girl and a slave in the racist historical Southern colonies of the United States.
Silence settles over our clearing as the sun begins to peek over the hills. When the first rays of morning light graze the dew-covered grass, that is when we know that they will come.
We watch each day for their arrival over a nearby hill. The dark-skinned boy and the fair-haired girl, hand-in-hand, would run to our thicket in playful escape of the town below.
The boy would grasp a daisy by the stem and offer it to the girl with a polite, "for you, ma'am," as they sat in the grass. The girl would beam at him as she put the flower behind her ear.
She would twirl he golden curls around her finger as she talked with her subtle Southern accent of what she would study at school that day. The boy only listened intently; he would spend his day not at school, but on the ranch with other boys of his race.
When the sun was slightly above the hilltop, they would leave just as they had come. The dark hand would hold the pale one as he helped the girl to her feet, and they would start back towards the town.
Today seems different to us. Today, the birds call one word as they weave through our branches. "Alone... alone..." comes the chorus of small voices in the depths of our forest, ringing out like a hundred tiny gongs.
There is an air of confusion amongst the trees. Alone? And then, in a moment, we understand.
Coming slowly up the hill from the town to the forest, comes the girl. Her skin is sickly pale, aside from a purple blotch near her eye, and her usually perfect golden curls are mussed and unbrushed. The hem of her wrinkled dress, the same dress that she wore the previous day, is wet with dew and she sits beneath our branches.
She picks a daisy. She places is behind her ear. She pauses. All is silent as we watch the expression on her face become more and more pained.
Suddenly, she rips the daisy out of her hair and stands, tearing handfuls of grass and kicking clumps of ground out of the earth in her anger. She falls back to the ground, tucking her knees to her chest and pressing her eyes shut against the rain that is beginning to fall.
She stays that way until the rain falls in sheets and the light comes from directly overhead. Then slowly, silently, she rises, dragging her feet as she recedes back over the yonder hill.
The forest is quiet once again.
We don't hear another noise until that night. It's subtle at first, barely audible over the splashing of the rain in puddles below us, a high-pitched hum ringing through the branches. When it gets closer, we can hear the individual voices. "Alone... alone..." come the trills of the birds. Alone? A feeling of uncertainty comes once more over us. Is she back? The girl? Where is the boy?
He's here, at first just a vague shadow through the rain. He walks to where the girl sat earlier and bends to pick up the discarded flower that she threw to the ground. A cut above his eye glistens off his dark skin in the moonlight that barely filters through the rainclouds. He picks up his traveler's satchel, filled with all of her worldly possessions, and turns for the mountains, hardly pausing to look back at the town behind him.
We know that we wont see either of them again.