Something that happened to me once


A girl once came to school with a bracelet of leaves around her wrist. The next day, she came to school with a necklace made of little white flowers. And the day after that, a hairband weaved of corn and poppies. People started looking at her in the halls. She started dressing in earthy, natural colours. She cut her hair short and died it a vivid pine tree colour.
I passed her in the halls once. It was morning, before our lessons, and the weak morning sun was casting it’s misty rays through the dusty windows, painting the white walls in a soft, sleepy orange. I remember that because I thought it looked very beautiful. There was seldom such a pretty spring morning in our town, because the mountains usually shadowed over the valley. I stopped her and asked her if forest and earth tones were her favourite colours. She said not necessarily, it just reminded her of where she came from. I asked her where that would be. She said the forest. I was confused and told her so. She smiled and asked me if I ever felt a longing to run out into the mountains, fly high over the wilderness, watch the sun set and never return. I said sure, everybody feels that because we humans used to be very nature-bound beings, it’s in our genes. But there isn’t any time anymore. She took off her bracelet, reached for my arm und put it into my palm. “My present for you,” she said. I asked her why, I didn’t know her well. “A deer shares,” was her response. She walked away, her long shadow lingering on the walls before she rounded the corner.
I still have that bracelet. It hangs from a nail in the wall above my bed. The leaves are crumpling. And I notice how she never made a new bracelet. The only one she had she gave to a confused classmate she barely knew. I catch myself wondering sometimes what she’d look like as a deer and if we’d roam the woods together.

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