Wasn’t it lucky that they had the oak tree? That beautiful thing, a colossal span of gnarled knots and twisted tendrils, a heaving mass split into wispy, skyward bronchioles.

She dug, careful not to disturb the roots.

How about a deal? You take him. I move on. You grow, I grow.

She’d been there every season, whispering her hell to it. What he said. What he did.

Later she twisted in the sheets, uneasy.

Then—a sprawling shadow over her moonlit room. A gentle staccato that lulled her into a smiling sleep.

Like outstretched fingertips.

Tapping yes on her window.

K.R. Lai is a writer based in Shanghai. When she’s not procrastinating and fighting Imposter Syndrome, she settles down with her laptop and tackles the blank page with indignance. IG: