So sorry to bother you, but I was driving past and I had to stop. See, I have a kind of personal connection to this house. No, I didn’t grow up here. This house was built out of my mom.

My mom was a Northern Red Oak, just like me. It would really mean a lot if I could come in and see where she … ended up. Sorry ladies, looks like I’m interrupting book club. You’re reading Little Fires Everywhere. No thank you! I’m a tree.

Water would be great. Just pour it on my roots.

Where are my manners? You’d think I was raised in a jungle. What is your name? Nice to meet you, Linda. And book club ladies Cheryl, Sara, and Mindy. My name? You can call me crshcrrrrkksh.

You have a lovely home. I was looking at some pictures on Zillow and they really didn’t do it justice. Ahh, you caught me. I did a little cyber sleuthing before I “happened” to drive past. Oh my God! Do you see that beam? That’s her left branch. I was born from an acorn from that branch. No, I’m fine. It’s just a lot to… process.

How am I walking and talking? No Mindy, that’s not rude to ask at all. A wizard died in my forest and one of his magical gems got caught in my roots, giving me a soul. It’s a blessing and a curse. I have a full life with a steady job in HR, a fiance I adore, a home with lots of natural light. But, it can get lonely being the only plant to gain sentience in the history of Earth.

I thought maybe seeing where I came from would give me a sense of closure. Oh my God! There, under your cat’s litter box, that’s her face. Hi Mom, I missed you. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop Carter & Sons Lumber from felling you, but I’m here now. You’d be so proud of me. The only tree to drive a car, to vote, and to be in the first row at spin class.

Don’t touch me Linda! I don’t want to be groped by the filthy paws of the woman living inside the hacked-up corpse of my mother. Sorry! I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ve been living for 35 years, but conscious for three so I’m still an emotional toddler.

Wow, that oak trimmed wood-burning fireplace is an exercise in irony. Your contractor Bill Roarty really had a mind for design. Ahh, you caught me! I did a little more than Google you, Linda. I seduced the foreman of the lumber company that cut down my mom, traced her shipping number to the Asheville Home Depot, found out which building company bought her wood, what projects they were working on in the summer of 2017, and found you. When I say it all at once I sound crazy! Haha! I’m a tree!

Don’t you take a step with those Kate Spade loafers, Sara. When I figured out my mother’s body was used in three homes in the Asheville area, I decided to go on a little road trip. The other two, 645 Lower Grassy Branch Road and 4432 Foxjump Field Drive…

Yes Mindy, they are the addresses of two recent unsolved arsons.

Those other homes only had my mother as their crown molding, but you Linda have her in your walls, your floors, your ceiling. I never got the chance to live inside of her, but you Linda are an ungrateful embryo in her oaken womb.

If walls could talk! What would you say to me Mommy? Would you say you loved me? That you were proud of me? That I look pretty when I wear my leaves pulled back? Even if I could bring you back, you couldn’t speak the words I need to hear. No wizard died in your branches. You were never more than you are now. Silent. Indifferent. Wooden.

I am so sorry for disturbing your book club ladies. And for tracking my root dirt all over your ivory carpet. I…I’ve said what I needed to say. I’ll get out of your branches, er, hair now.

What’s that? A box of extra wood left over from your home’s construction? And it’s all for me? Thank you, Linda. I’m really glad I didn’t murder you.

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