He never got out of bed, he never “felt like it,” he would say. He was so young, yet his hair started turning wiry and springing up on every side. “AUGIE BROWN, YOU GET YOUR LITTLE BEHIND DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW,” yelled Clementine. Clem has been working for the Browns ever since August’s parents passed away, three years ago, due to their car crash into a massive tree. Poor little August had only himself and sometimes he was lucky if his grandparents stopped by. There was a knock on the door and Clem stuck her head in the crack, “Come on, Aug, you can’t stay in bed forever. Plus, I got you a present that might bring that adorable smile of yours back to your little heart-shaped lips.” She slowly shut the door, but pressed her ear against it. Augie rushed up and started scrambling for the nearest shirt as he realized that today was his ninth birthday. This one occasion was the only thing he would ever get excited for, and the only time you could see that folded smile on his face. Clem tiptoed as she ran down the stairs so that August didn’t see her eavesdropping.
As Clem is “casually” sitting on the brand new starship sofa she ordered for him, she heard a loud sound of running footsteps down the stairs. Eyes as wide as can be, Aug spots the starship sofa and acts as if he is one with the sound and all, “VOOOMMM PSHH,” he acts as he crashes onto the sofa. “Oh, Clemmie, Clemmie, CLEMMIE!!!! What’s next,” he yells so loud that aliens on Planet Mars could hear him. As he eagerly bounces on the sofa with the stretchiest smile on his face, exposing his two missing front teeth, Clem pulls out a big, lime green-wrapped box with a dark forest green ribbon out from under the couch. Clem was so surprised to see him so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He slowly grabs the box and starts peeling off the wrapping paper. His smile suddenly flips 180 degrees. There’s a big packet with a label on it that reads, “Put me in the ground, water me, and by tomorrow I’ll be a big, massive tree!” The words “massive tree” are repeating in his head over and over, bringing up the memory of hearing the news of his parents crashing into a “massive tree.” His eyes start tearing up as he bolts up the stairs and back into his bed. That really broke Clem’s heart. She thought it’d be good for him so that he could start going out more. When Mr. and Mrs. Brown passed, he never wanted to look outside because of all the trees, and she thought by having this it would help him. Clem wasn’t going to give up that easily. As she puts August to bed, he won’t talk to her. He’s back to his sad self again. She kisses his cold cheeks, dims the lights and shuts the door letting August go to sleep. While he sleeps, Clem goes out into the backyard and plants this “overnight” tree, before she goes to bed.
The next morning, Clem is woken up by her 9:00 alarm. As she starts making breakfast, she looks into the backyard window and much to her surprise the tree is massive, it’s fully grown, and it’s beautiful. There’s all different shades of green hanging from the thick and thin branches, and there’s a pile of lavender flowers growing into the ground next to the tree. Clem climbs up the stairs and turns on Aug’s lights, “WAKE UP, CUTIE, BREAKFAST IS READY!” Looking like a zombie, Aug drags himself up and plops his feet onto the cold wooden floor. He follows Clem down the stairs slowly, and as he is walking to the kitchen he passes the backyard window and the tree catches the corner of his eye. He takes a few steps back and just stares at it looking confused, almost as if he’s mesmerized by that beautiful tree. Days go by and he just walks past it everyday but never dares to go outside and actually see it up close.
One morning, August got woken up by Clem telling him she’s going to the grocery shop and she’d be right back. August goes down the stairs and once again just stares from the window at that huge tree. Thoughts are racing through his mind as he places his fingertips on the handle of the big window. As he opens the door, the smell of nature enters his nostrils and he takes a nice big inhale of the aroma. As he steps outside, his bare toes press against the moist green grass and tickle the soles of his feet. He giggles a little and then looks around to make sure no one heard that. His little head lifts up as he looks at that tree that almost reminds him of a skyscraper. His little right hand stroked the trunk while his little left hand pet the leaves with dew drops on them. Again, he let out another giggle as a tear fell upon his cheek. He felt as if he was connecting with his parents through that tree. His dad was the strong trunk and his mom, the delicate leaves. He sat under the shade as the branches hugged him so tightly, and the leaves tickle his face. The wind was singing August’s favorite song and it made the little hairs on his arms raise. He’s never felt this way before. He walked back into the house, put on his shoes, and walked outside, into the driveway. Never has he seen so many trees in his life. As Clem is pulling up into the driveway she thought it was an apparition she was seeing of August actually being outside, but it wasn’t. She rushed outside of her car as Augie ran up to her and gave her the biggest hug in the world. “I love the tree, Clemmie. Mom and Dad were playing with me. I think they can see me,” cried August. Clem picked him up and gave him a big kiss, “they sure can, Aug. They sure can.”