• The faint sound of scratching echoed through the room, sand rubbing against timber, dust falling to the floor. His weary eyes squinted, his grimy, leathery hand holding the wood, pressing paper against it, slowly wearing away at it, giving it shape.

    He'd been in the workshop all day- Neglecting all else. His mouth was dry, lips cracked under the heat and strain he'd put them under, his eyes red and irritated from lack of sleep. Still, his hands moved as smoothly as ever, not betraying his condition for a moment. Still, He kept working. He had to finish what he was doing.

    Timber is a majestic material. The Scents, Textures, colors, and versatility of it made him fall in love with using it as his medium. Millions of half-baked projects littered his work-room. Some were attempts at new things, others were simply muck-ups, but he couldn't bear to throw any of it away. Each piece had it's story. Especially the one he'd been working on.

    Many years before, back when he were but a young lad, in love, Both he and the girl he was courting would go for picnics in the nearby meadow, under the shade of an old willow tree. Years passed, they stayed together, and eventually, they were married under that same tree. It was as if it were part of the family. Still, like many good things, it couldn't last. Eventually, developers bought the land, and began to demolish the meadow. He struggled against it, but eventually, the best he could muster was the right to cut down the tree itself.

    One thing he learnt, over the next two days, was that the tree didn't want to be cut down.

    Saws broke in it's trunk, axes were chipped and dulled, and it took all of his effort not to cry in the process. Eventually, though, it fell, and suddenly, he saw why it was so hard to do such things to it.

    One well known fact about wood is that it has a grain- Natural layers that define how it grew. However, sometimes, these layers twist inside the tree, causing knots, and irregular grain. Makes it a pain to cut by hand, but as most furniture makers would tell you, it's best to just go with the grain.

    His eyes seemed to dance all over the felled tree, absorbing it into his mind, crafting it before he grabbed any tools.

    Now, almost 9 hours afterwards, he was finally putting the final touches on the piece. hands finally beginning to shake, he placed the finished piece on his bench, before leaning on it, and falling into a much-needed sleep.

    The wooden heart rolled out of his hand, perfectly smoothed, and polished- Made entirely from the hardened knot in the tree trunk. next to it, a note, handwritten, and covered in sawdust.

    "To my love,

    I miss you everyday, as much as the last, and today, I found myself letting go of one of the last ties I had to you. It saddens me deeply, but I know you wouldn't want that. It's been 3 years, I know you expected me to be over you, but I doubt I ever will be.

    I know, eventually I'll be joining you, but until then, I will keep this trinket I made for you. It's finally perfect. I finally made something perfect."