“Here you go.” I extended a gummy cherry into the darkness of the backseat. A quiet hand reached out of the void and took it. “Thank you,” said the lone fellow passenger of the car.
After a few moments of lip smacking I asked, “Clara, have you ever seen a cherry tree before?”
There was a hesitation. “No.”
I drove on, flooded with memories of climbing the great cherry tree that stood in my grandfather’s yard when I was young. I remembered the long lazy afternoons under the shimmering canopy, and reaching out over the abyss to grab hold of the glowing red jewels. I can still see the clusters of perfect red gumdrops dangling in the upper branches where small birds would peck at them, taunting me before suddenly flying away. I would climb down in the evening with the red juice and dark sap staining my hands and jeans. The rich dark potions of youth. They still swirl inside me somewhere deep down in my soul.
“I’m so sorry you have never experienced that,” I told her. “I wish you could know that same joy.”
She responded, “Oh, actually I have seen a cherry tree.”
“You have? When?”
“I have seen one everyday since you and mom told me about them,” she said. “I have a cherry tree in my imagination that I climb and swing from. And I eat the cherries.”
We drove on into the dark night. “And they are delicious.”
I bet they are little girl. I bet they are magical.