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The Tree Outside My Window

As he moves to a new room in a new house, a boy recalls the view from his old window

As I stood in my new room, as decided at Burger Heaven on Tuesday, I looked around and saw a blank white wall, two closets, and two windows. I looked out the window on the left and saw a beautiful tree outside my window. It was gently swaying in the wind.

I remembered the other tree outside my window in my old room. You could see the roughness of the bark, and the leaves slowly turned yellow, orange, and red as we got closer and closer to the end of the fall. The tree was wise and old. It had a posture that was relaxed but knew everything at all times, like Yoda!

One day, I asked my dad if I could go play laser tag with my friend Michael.

“You know why you can’t,” he said. Unfortunately, I did. My dad was against all types of guns or weapons. I understood why, but I was still frustrated.

“But all of my friends are going and I don’t want to be left out because everyone will be talking about it at school,” I told him.

He said: “Just because you’re friends do it doesn’t mean you have to.” I stormed into my room. Then I looked out the window, and I thought about the tree. It couldn’t do anything people did. And people didn’t respect it. They even had their dogs pee on it. But it was content to just watch the world go by.

Another time, I was watching the news with my mom when they said a hurricane was going to hit New York. I asked my mom if we’d be safe. She said we would but we went to the store to stock up on canned food. At the store, I asked her, “Can a hurricane kill someone?”

“Yes, if you’re not careful.”

Now I was so scared I didn’t go outside the house at all the next few days, and school was closed, so my parents couldn’t make me.

As the storm was raging outside my window, I thought about what would happen if my building fell over. With those thoughts of destruction, I fell asleep. Hours later, I woke to an ear-splitting snap. At first I thought it was lightning, but it was sunny outside. I slid off my bed into the slippers I got for Christmas, and I walked to my window, careful not to step on the Lego creations I had made the day before. I looked around. Something was missing, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

Then I realized. “No, no, no, no, no,” I muttered under my breath, progressively getting louder as I went on. I look down at the ground. The tree, my true friend, always loyal, never faltering, so wise, had split in half. It was just lying there helpless, cracked in half, gone. Gone forever.

I went into my mom’s room and shook my mom as I did if I’d had a nightmare. I showed her the tree and then she called the super to take the tree off the sidewalk. We watched out our window as he struggled to push it to the side of the road. It was hard to be too appreciative of the beautiful sunny day because my tree was gone.

But now, in the present, I had a new tree, even better than the old one. Elegant and graceful. And no storms are going to hit New York anytime soon, so it should be safe for at least a while. Over the years I have learned more and more that you appreciate things more when they are gone, so you should try to appreciate them as much as you can before they leave.

Then my mom walked into my room and asked me if I wanted to have lunch. I realized I was very hungry since I had spent the whole morning packing up our stuff from our old apartment. As I walked out into our new living room, I saw boxes upon boxes and even more boxes. I looked in one, and I saw the back of a picture frame. The photo was of me playing in my room in my pajamas with yellow stripes. I was playing with my train tracks, and I was holding my favorite train, Thomas. In the back of the picture, I could just make out the tree. Suddenly, I remembered one day when I found out I hadn’t made the soccer team. I had been outside my old building, and I had kicked the tree repeatedly in my anger.

I went back into my room and put the photo on the radiator next to my new tree. Then I ran back into the living room because I was very hungry, and I smelled quesadillas so I knew this would be a good lunch.

Daniel Shawn author of The Tree Outside My Window
Daniel Shaw, 11
New York, NY