Once there was a girl who walked down a road. Her dress was tattered and her hair dirty and knotted. She thought she was alone, but she was wrong. When she finally felt his hand in hers, she looked up and smiled with recognition. And kept walking.
One day, he started to speak to her of the wider world, of what they could do together on the road, hand in hand, of adventures they might have. She walked with a straighter spine and looked at him and he looked at her and she felt the sun on her face. There were good things up ahead. They stopped sometimes and rested and he would read to her, love letters and promises and stories. He found food for her and kept her safe.
As they walked, they came to water and they stepped in. He swam further and asked her to join him out there. She did. They came to a tree and he climbed it and asked her to climb to him there. She did. It was hard work.
He asked her to sing up there in the tree, so others would hear. She did. He asked her to step out on a branch. She did. Further and further out, she crawled. She felt the sun on her face. She sang out there on the end of the branch. He told her to wait there and keep singing. She did.
One day, she heard the branch start to crack and she didn’t know if she should run or stay where she was. She clung there, frozen. She looked for him but couldn’t find him. She yelled for him but he did not answer. She kept singing, kept sitting, kept waiting.
It was windy there, and cold. She kept singing like it was her Job.
Sometimes she felt the sun break through the leaves and sometimes she shivered. She heard pieces of a song on a breeze. Sometimes she had no memory of just how it was that she made it up there in that tree, of her movement out to the end of the branch, or why she stayed. Sometimes she heard the branch crack in the wind and it scared her. Still she sang, quietly now, with a different melody. And looked for him. And waited. And wondered, who would catch her if she fell?