The police said a hiker found him. He lay lifeless on the forest floor on a soft bed of pine needles. He looked like a rag doll; his legs askew, one arm bent awkwardly behind him. He must have fallen from the cliff above.
The police did not suspect foul play, but they still needed to ask questions. Lisa told the police that they had a fight. It ended with Alan driving off, tires screeching. Lisa wasn’t surprised that he had gone to the woods. He loved to go there to pick mushrooms and contemplate life.
The forest invited contemplation. It felt otherworldly as the sun filtered through the trees. The echo of birds chirping and small critters rustling in the leaves. Twigs crackling underfoot. This was not the habitat of men.
It belonged to the woodland creatures. When people showed up they stood still. Transfixed by their presence, they waited and watched, sniffing the air.
A week later, Lisa went to visit the site of the accident. Yellow crime scene tape hung in tatters. Looking around, she saw a rock and sat down. She was deep in thought, as the denizens of the forest eyed her warily.
To the passersby, Lisa’s grief was apparent. Her downcast eyes revealed her pain as she struggled to control her emotions. She wiped her eyes with a tissue.
She sat there for a while. Onlookers glancing her way as they passed by. Her hair hung down like a widow’s veil partially covering her face. She dropped the tissue. A whisper of a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. Lisa has a secret. No one knows except the watching eyes of the forest.