You walked out the front door of my parents house, a white and glass paneled thing that let in parcels of sunshine. When it swung closed it took with it the idea that my life was all mine. The lock snapped shut and I knew just one thing – that all those choices that live on the cusp of eighteen, well, they were slowly fluttering away.

I started crying right then, and I didn’t stop until I was half the world away in a Costa Rican treehouse hostel pretending I was fine. And the biggest joke? I only just stopped running away from the fact that those choices were really gone. The fairytale girl inside me just wanted to pretend that you’d come walking back through that sunny door any day now.

Don’t worry, this isn’t just about you. It’s about all those choices that fall away. The little ones are leaves on a tree, fluttering away in a breeze. Then some small branches break in a bad storm, but they don’t hurt so bad. It’s when someone comes and hacks off a big limb that it really makes you scream. Suddenly there’s a raw maw seeping sap. Or, a major lightning strike that snaps a limb and sends shudders to your deepest rings.

New limbs and branches and leaves are growing all the time, but there’s always going to be those charred and scarred spots. That’s what that moment was; a lightening strike, but I still want to pretend that someday, somehow, a new bud will appear in the midst of the petrified trunk.