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Young, Young Love
The quaint picnic was held in an almost ethereal meadow. Of course, this was not enough to prevent Belle’s sweeping boredom. She lay on the blanket opening and closing her eyes to let the clouds take the shapes her mind chose. Belle rolled her head over at her mother; she was giggling with her friend who put his hand on Belle’s mother’s, which was a bit perplexing to Belle’s sapphire, shining eyes. She put her head the other direction and let her eyes dine on the fresh grass while turning blades of it in her index finger.
The shade allowed her to relax, but her frown remained as she searched the area for a branch to play with or flower to gaze at. Belle picked a cookie from their basket and nibbled at it for a few moments. A crumb collided with the wavy grass and an ant went and took it. At this she smiled and tore a fair chunk from the cookie and tossed it down. Now several ants marched towards it and claimed it their own. Her mother overheard her laughter.
“Bell, sweetie, don’t feed the food to the insects.”
Belle was taken aback; slightly disturbed at her mother’s tone, she looked down ashamed and put the rest of her cookie in the basket. “Yes, mommy.” Her mother threw her head back at a joke she had just been told by her friend. He moved her unassuming brown hair from her cheek and put his lips where the hair had been. Her expression changed and she put her arms around him. Nevertheless, Belle was still sat gloomily across from them.
Belle gasped when she looked down again at her hands. A bit of chocolate remained above her palm and a little creature had caught wind of this. “A ladybug,” she exclaimed. Relieved she had not come in contact with a bumblebee or some sort of terrible, Belle dropped her shoulders and began to twirl her hand and watch the ladybug make its way around to whatever the top of her hand might have been at a moment in time.
The ladybug looked scarlet, but was really rather a color of mandarin, with black dots scattered about. Ever so anxiously, Belle put the tip of a finger on its back for a petting. The little bug scurried away to other side of her hand. She let out a small giggle then looked up at her mother. She hadn’t heard it. Returning her glance to the ladybug, Belle noticed something she hadn’t before: something off. A wing peeped out of the ladybug’s back and as it tried to spread them, it could not.
“Oh no, did I hurt you?”
Belle rushed over to the open picnic table and set the ladybug on the table as if in preparation for surgery. Belle had no surgeon’s tools, however, and had no medical background whatsoever. Her brows became close and met above her nose. She wanted to fix her new friend ever so much but was fearful that it might not be able to fly again.
“Don’t worry, Lady, I’ll make you better.” The name came to her instantaneously.
Lady attempted to flit her wings once more, but instead fell over and now lay on her back. Belle flipped her over again and encouraged her to try again. “Come on, you can do it, Lady.” Alas, Lady could not do and her days were numbered, which worried Belle even more.
Time and time again, whenever Lady tried to fly she fell to her back, and once again Belle flipped her over and demanded she try again. She thought of the time she stomped on a spider that frightened her and her mother told her, “Belle, that spider did nothing to harm you. Bugs can feel pain too; just like us.”
Bugs can feel pain too. Lady is hurt badly, Belle understood. “I don’t want you to be in pain, though. Lady, you have to get better. You have to!” With this she couldn’t help herself but slam her fist against the table, shaking Lady into a fluster, which made Belle even more upset. “Fly. Please.”
She closed her eyes tight and breathed hard. It had only just crossed her mind. She didn’t want to do it, but Lady was in so much pain at which she was in horror. “You can go to bug heaven,” Belle reassured her through tears. “They’ll make you Queen for being so strong.” Belle’s mother and friend remained talking, laughing, smiling, making memories. She picked a leaf from the ground and prepared herself. She prepared herself to rid of her only friend. One last time, she glanced over at her mother and friend who were about to touch lips. Her gaze returned to Lady.
“I love you,” all three whispered together.