An old cherry tree sits just outside my bedroom window. For several seasons I've watched it blossom to life -- ripening with evergreen and fruit. I've also witnessed that life slowly drifting away in the cool autumn breeze. As the branches empty one by one, I sit and gaze without expression.
Each leaf that falls reminds me of a 10-year-old girl buried deep in a closet, hiding behind bags of old clothes. Ashamed of the tears, she desperately tries to hide her sorrow from the world. A tattered Mickey Mouse muffles her sobs.