By Carol Sandford


Chapter 01


I smile fondly at the image before me. Hair as white as snow, and peace upon your features instead of leadership. A book in your hand instead of a padd. And music in your mind instead of the hum of a ship's engine.

These days your priorities have changed. The important things in life are your jazz discs, the ball game on the vidiscreen. Dinner that won't set off your heartburn and a glass of your favourite tipple.

You ask for nothing more, as there is nothing more to have.

Apart from me, your tree.

I used to laugh at that; your tree. For the rest of the universe the norm was, 'rock', but for me it was tree. You said it was because you could gently lean against me and I could hold you. A rock could not do that, but a tree could.

A tree was a living, breathing, colourful being, like me. A rock was not.

A rock was a cold, hard unforgiving lump. A tree was not. I was not.

I love being your tree.

You sense me watching you and you're smiling even before you drop your book onto your lap.

I love that smile that you give me when you know I'm thinking about our lives together. Our past, and our future.

But our past is our future. Without our past our future would not be around the corner, waiting for us.

And we're ready for it.

I know when Will looks at me now, he can see snowy hair that matches his, and on my face, as many laughter lines. But his love for me is still as strong. Stronger.

Your tree is still here, my love, and always will be.

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