The night I went from sapling to tree

My mom used to put me to sleep every single night. I’d lie in bed waiting for the door knob to turn for my bedtime story to ensue. Each story I was told, happy or sad, always ended the same way: with a loud “BOO.” I knew it was coming every single time, but no matter how hard I tried I would always jump. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even listen to the story I would just anticipate the BOO so I wouldn’t jump, but it never worked.

One night my mom was telling me tales of a young girl in the jungle who was lost and surrounded by lions. The pride took her in as their own until she was well enough to look for her family. The lions all hugged her farewell, and then she turned and “BOO.”

But I didn’t jump, and that was the first night my innocence began to fade.

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