If The Trees Could Talk

My favorite part about my trips wasn't the trip itself but the aftermath. Even if I didn't remember every little detail off the top of my head, I knew I took a photo of it. Going through them all and editing them was like living the excitement all over again. Pulling out my laptop and connecting my camera to it after a long expedition was like a ritual to me. I could spend hours curled up on my couch going through every moment that I captured. I knew that if felt the same happiness I did when I took the photo then I did a good job.

The immense stature of the Sequoia trees illuminated my face through the screen's blue light. The photo's perspective illustrates how large in comparison they are to our benign human selves. I subconsciously thanked whatever force there was for the heavenly lighting that softly shone through the leaves of General Sherman.

As I play with the photo's settings, tinkering with the saturation and shadows, I notice two small figures covertly hiding in the designated walkways. I squint my eyes and zoom in before pulling back in shock and covering my mouth in a silent gasp.


The crisp air weaved through my hair as I dropped on my knee in front of the world's national monuments. I was tired from waking up so early but witnessing Sherman for myself absolved all exhaustion. I spent an indeterminable time testing angles and positions, not noticing how my boyfriend and best friend left me alone. I always tried to make my expeditions like vacations and invited people I'd enjoy my time with. Usually, it was my boyfriend but lately my best friend has been sad so I invited them both. She was depressed after her boyfriend broke up with her so I thought some time away would do her good. Apparently too much so.

When I finished my photo op I didn't even realize they had left, too engrossed with how the immense trees looked through my camera. Looking back I should've noticed how her lipstick was smudged or how when I went to kiss my boyfriend, he smelled just like cherry blossoms. The same scent as her damn perfume.

My phenomenal photo of General Sherman was forever tainted by the small glimpse of them kissing in the background.

Multiple questions ran through my mind: When did it start? How long? Did she get with him before or after her breakup? Was my boyfriend the reason why they broke up? Did he know? How could they? The realization that the most important people in my life betrayed me with each other twisted my stomach in disgust.

I tried to rack my brain for signs that I must've missed, something that should've told me that something was wrong. But I couldn't think of anything, and maybe that within itself was a sign of things slowly deteriorating. I always thought my boyfriend was overexaggerating when he said I focused more on my camera than him. Even if I was distant in my relationship, that didn't give him the right to cheat on me. Especially not with my best friend, yet she shouldn't even have reciprocated anything. God, another question, who initiated it first? I was beyond furious, hurt, and betrayed.

The sound of keys jingling at the front door broke me away from my thoughts. I watched as my boyfriend tiredly grumbled a weak 'hey' as he began to take off his coat. When I didn't respond he looked at me confused with mild concern.

"What happened? Why are you crying?"

He started to walk towards me as I touched my face to feel a salty wetness on my cheeks. I looked at him in disbelief.

"We need to talk." I could feel my demeanor radiate anger as I saw his face drain of color, eyes glancing at my still-opened laptop screen. Needless to say, I would be going on future trips alone.

Comments 0