The hundreds-year-old tree between the two houses was the only one still alive who knew how it all began. Past residents of those houses, Ruby and Dottie, had stood under its wavering, winter-bare branches years ago and argued about some trivial, forgettable, nonsense. Each woman, seething with rage, had marched inside and told their respective husbands not to speak to anyone next door again.
Ruby and Dottie were gone now. It was Ruby’s four-year-old great-great-granddaughter, Pearl, who decided to defy her mother and venture to the other side of the tree. Leaning against its trunk was Sam, Dottie’s great-great-grandson, who was absentmindedly playing with a pocket-watch he’d found in his attic. There was a folded note inside. Before the children could open it, the wind picked it up and carried it away. It was in Dottie’s handwriting, addressed to Ruby, and bore only the words, I’m sorry.
The watch forgotten, Sam and Pearl laughed and chased each other around the base of the tree, as she sighed with relief and showered them with blooms.