EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – EVENING
BILLY is a boy around eight years old. He is wearing a blue jacket and a cap tight over his eyes. In one hand, he swings a stick back and forth.
SWISH! SWISH! CRACK!
The stick shatters and splinters fly everywhere. Billy laughs and continues down the trail. He scoops up a new stick but sees the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. He walks over till he’s about six inches away from the cliff face.
Grabbing ahold of a tree, he leans out as far as he can go. He stares down the sheer rock face. He looks at the rocks that jut out here and there. A lonely cedar is sprouting from a crack halfway up.
Billy gets dizzy for a second and almost falls, but he catches himself. He frowns, backing away from the edge. Once he’s a few feet away, he turns and jogs down the trail, whirling his stick above his head.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – FIVE YEARS LATER, EVENING
Billy is a teen now. He’s leading a blindfolded girl, CAROLINE, along the trail. He brings her to the edge of the escarpment and pulls the blindfold off.
Caroline smiles at him then glances down. She jumps back. Billy laughs, and she punches him in the arm. Rubbing his wounded arm, Billy points down the rock face to the cedar growing in the crack. It has grown into a small tree.
As Caroline watches the cedar wave in the wind, Billy begins to walk away from her, balancing along the edge. Caroline looks over as he makes a turn and holds out his arms.
Caroline shakes her head at him. Billy pretends to lose his balance. Caroline covers her face with her hands, but when she peeks between her fingers, she sees him give her a bow.
Caroline runs over and pulls him away from the edge. Releasing him as he stumbles to regain himself, Caroline runs down the Bruce Trail. Billy rights himself then glances around. After spotting her, he begins to chase.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – SEVEN YEARS LATER, EVENING
Billy is in his early twenties. He hasn’t shaved in quite some time. He walks over to the three he once held when he was younger. He leans out and looks over the edge.
The cedar has dried up and withered. Billy falls back against the tree and pulls out his phone. He looks at his last message to Caroline. “I feel so alone”. That was three weeks ago.
He glances over the edge. The trees at the bottom are tall, but they stop growing ten feet away from the cliff. Billy glances down at his phone then drops it onto the leaves covering the forest floor.
He stares out across the landscape to the road way down in the valley. He straightens himself and stands. He spreads his arms out as wide as they can go and closes his eyes.
His phone buzzes.
Billy opens his eyes. He glances over at his phone.
The light blinks.
Billy sits down with his legs over the edge of the cliff. He picks up the phone and checks the message. It’s from Caroline. “Hi. Srry its bn so long. How r things”.
Billy leans back, lying on the ground. He holds his phone above his face as he texts back.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – TEN YEARS LATER, EVENING
Billy and Caroline are holding hands as they walk along the trail. Caroline sees the tree by the edge and runs over to it. She wraps her arm around it and stares out across the valley.
Closing her eyes, she breathes in the fresh air. She opens her eyes again and glances behind her. Billy is missing. She is startled then notices him down at her side.
He is on one knee and holding out a ring. Caroline puts her hand to her mouth. She smiles and nods. Billy slips the ring onto her finger.
Caroline pulls him up to his feet, and they kiss.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – TWENTY YEARS LATER, EVENING
CHARLES and ALICE are teenagers. They run along the trail. They glance over at the tree and come to a stop. They turn back, and Charles points at the tree.
Billy and Caroline are walking along arm in arm. Billy nods to Charles. Turning to each other, the teens roll their eyes. They shakes their heads then continue running down the trail.
Billy and Caroline walk over to their tree. Caroline points across the valley. They turn to each other, smiling.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – THIRTY YEARS LATER, EVENING
Billy pushes Caroline along the trail in her wheelchair. Billy stops a couple of feet away from the edge. He drops down to one knee and pokes Caroline’s arm.
Caroline is resting in her chair. She doesn’t stir at Billy’s poke. She inhales deeply. A smile spreads across her face.
Billy smiles. He tries to get up, but he can’t make it. Placing a hand on their tree, he shuffles closer to it. He pushes himself up onto his feet.
Resting against the tree, he looks up its trunk. The bark is gnarled and old. It has weird bumps here and there, and a large branch has broken off.
EXT. BRUCE TRAIL – FORTY YEARS LATER, EVENING
The trail is silent. The tree stands tall over the edge of the cliff. The wind picks up and starts to gust. The tree sways.
Its roots start to pull up. The wind begins to scream.
The roots rip up from the ground, and the tree topples over the edge of the cliff.
FADE TO BLACK.