Broken Butterfly

May 19, 2008
By Alyssa Smith, Hamilton, TX

She lies on the couch, curled up in the same position she’s been since late last night. Claw-like nails grip the blanket as if it was the edge of a cliff, that single thing that separates falling and hanging on. Her ice-gray eyes stare emotionlessly at the dark green wall. She could be mistaken for dead if her uneven, shallow breathing went unnoticed. Her heartbeat is slowed; her body is unmoving.

Tangled, coal-black hair falls into her eyes, but she doesn’t notice. Black eyeliner tear tracks contrast darkly with the pearly white of her skin, and clumped mascara frames her once-sparkling eyes. She’s curled up like a butterfly in a cocoon, waiting to hatch. When she comes out, she’ll be who she was meant to be. She’s just got to get through this transitional phase first, even if it includes crying.

It’s not like her to be so emotionally broken. The last time she cried - as in really cried, not those tears you cry after a sad movie - was years ago. She hates herself for being like this; for being so weak. It’s inferior, disgusting, and vile in her mind. But she can’t help it this time. She loves control more than water when she’s thirsty, but she gave control up. She lost it the moment she trusted him with her heart.

She knew this would happen; knew it more than she knew she loved him. They were just too incompatible with their opposite personalities, but she didn’t care. It was like chasing the end of a rainbow. She knew she would never reach it, but the thrill of the chase was incredible while it lasted. The chase got boring eventually, of course. They gave up - or, rather, he did.

And so she lies on her couch, waiting to escape her cocoon.

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