When he told me that he had a surprise weekend for me, I thought he had booked a hotel, a nice meal, time to spend wandering around a town we had never visited before. I was curious.

He packed, so that I would have no clues about the surprise, and we set off early in the morning. An hour later we were still driving, and he kept me entertained with clues, none of which were actually related to where we were going. We were laughing together, though, which was good. It felt good. The music was playing quietly in the car, and we were relaxed and happy.

When we pulled up in the woods, I was surprised, but ready to humour him. The path that led between the trees was an easy stroll, rather than a hike, and the sounds of the forest surrounded us on all sides. The quiet was amazing, only us and the birds were talking, and then it was only the birds as we fell silent, awed by the magnificence around us. The trees were tall and wide, and the forest floor thick with fallen leaves, and pine needles.

I think we walked about a quarter of a mile from the car before we came to the house, a wooden cabin built on stilts 30 feet above the forest floor. A walkway let from the ground level to a wide deck and then to the cabin itself. We walked up, breathing in the smell of the place, the feeling of total isolation and freedom.

Inside the house was perfect; there was a kitchen, a bedroom, and a comfortable living room. The bathroom was small, but everything seemed to work. He produced a bottle of champagne and glasses. We sat on the deck and sipped. I looked across at him, and we shared a smile.

We were level with the branches of the trees, able to look directly into them. I imagined what it might be like to be a bird and land on the branches. The place was magical. I told him so and that it was a lovely surprise. He checked his phone and shrugged; there was no signal. I had not expected one, and to be honest, perhaps that was the attraction of a place like this, to be completely away from the life we thought of as normal.

I stood up and walked to the railing, watching the woods around us, listening to the rustle of leaves and the movement of bushes as the usual residents of the forest grew used to our presence. The railing ran all the way around the house and the views changed as I walked around.

At the front, I passed the walkway again and stopped to lean against the railing. I heard him crossing the deck towards me. I felt his hand on my shoulder. I smiled. I actually smiled.

I saw none of this coming. Out in the middle of nothing, far away from everyone, and everything. No argument, none of the usual build up to him losing his temper.

Then I was falling, tipped over the edge. Then nothing, for a while. When I did wake up, I was surprised to find that I was still in the woods. I was alone and wandering, searching for the car, trying to find a way back. Then I found the freshly dug ground where my body lay, cold and dead. Where he had put me, with my neck at an impossible angle, where I would lie forever, with no way back, no route home.

I am tied to this place. There is no choice to leave. It is not such a terrible place to be. I see the seasons come and go. The birds and the small animals pass me by and rarely notice me at all. Sometimes I climb up the walkway and remember the day I sat there with him.

Other people come to the house. Couples wanting a romantic weekend away in the woods. Families with young children running through the woods, chasing each other, and building memories to take with them into their adult years.

Often I wonder why he did it. We had our problems, but he could have walked away. I struggled with the question until yesterday, when he arrived with another woman. He looked a little older. They talked as we used to, sat on the deck as we had, and I rushed up the walkway to warn her, to tell her to run, but she was over the edge before I reached the decking. I was too late.

She lay in the leaves, with her neck twisted just as mine had been. I watched him carry her to where I lay and dig another hole.  He pushed her in and filled in the hole. I sat, long after he had collected his belongings and loaded them back into his car. I waited, and when she woke up, I found that we had things to talk about.

Every day, we practiced, and slowly we leaned to affect our surroundings rather than drift through them. We watched the children play and the couples romance each other until the day that he returned. Another woman climbed the walkway with him, but this time we were ready for him. He popped the cork from the champagne and poured her a glass.

She smiled and sipped, and her scream echoed around the forest as he seemingly tipped over the edge of the railing, plunging to his death. She could not see that we ran with all our power, pushed with everything we had, and dove with him to the ground, taking him headfirst into the forest floor.

A silence followed while her screams subsided, and she ran for the car and a phone signal. Police and ambulance services arrived and they took his body away.

We sat, my friend and I, and enjoyed the view as the leaves turned orange and brown around us and we passed towards another winter in the woods.