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You're My Butterfly
Today I woke up to a perfect day. The sky emanated a blue light that leaked through the window contentedly, and the air was cool and refreshing. My sister Lily was in the shower singing Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid. We had watched that movie last night, with the lights dimmed and the stereos on high, singing along with the words, and eating popcorn. When the credits played and we were were out of popcorn Lily took a kernel and threw it at me giggling. I looked back at her smiling and exaggeratedly grabbed a kernel and threw one back. Soon popcorn kernels were all over the place and happy laughter bounced off of the walls. Today was a beautiful day and I was excited to see what else it would bring. I got out of bed and got dressed, ripped jeans, black flats, hello kitty shirt, and a leather jacket. My favorite outfit. Today was my turn to make breakfast, so I got downstairs and blasted Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd and got out the eggs, bacon, and coffee. Mom came down smiling, I was the cook in the house so she was always happy when it was my turn to make breakfast.
"Coffee's ready," I said "and there's creamer in the fridge, your favorite, peppermint."
"Thanks sweetie." she came over and kissed me on the head then eagerly went to the coffee ready for a caffeine boost.The pounding water from the shower upstairs stopped and the bacon sizzled in a pan. Mom was dancing her way around the kitchen and humming along to the song. Lily showed up in the kitchen in a fluffy pink robe with her hair still dripping wet. She came up to me and I pulled her up in a hug and settled her on my hip, her skinny legs wrapped themselves around my waist and she pressed her face against my cheek fluttering her eyelashes to give me a butterfly kiss.
"and how are you doing today" I asked and kissed her head, breathing in the scent of her strawberry shampoo.
"Fine" she replied
"Are you sure? I thought you were having a nightmare again last night, You seem scared" I asked.
I was worried about her. Even though she seemed happy she had been having trouble sleeping ever since dad left on another "business trip". The last time he did that he was gone for 3 months. Her smile faltered.
"No.. I'm okay, besides even if I had I'm not having a nightmare now," she said, I could tell she didn't want me to press the issue so I let it drop.
"Ok," I said "So what is my little... ummm.... Tiger going to do today?" I said giggling
Lily giggled then said "But I'm not a Tiger!"
"Oh, really," I replied "Then what are you, an angelfish, a seahorse, a kitten? What is my little sister?"
Lily laughed and it rang around the room. "Oh that's right" I said pretending to mutter to myself distractedly, "Your my Butterfly!!"
As soon as I said the word butterfly I ran her over and dropped her on the couch tickling her squirming little body as she giggled and breathlessly squealed for me to stop over and over. When I did stop I flopped on the couch next to her and put my face up to hers fluttering my eyelashes on her cheek in our signature butterfly kiss.
"And your my butterfly," Lily said smiling at me.
Mom was watching with a wistful look on her face then she picked up her coffee and wandered into the other room.
Then the peace was shattered with the sound of the wall phone going off. I moaned and got up.
"I'll get it," I said loudly, for my mom's benefit, as I walked over to the phone. I picked up the phone mid ring.
"Hello,this is the Johnson residence, how may I help you?" I said, just in case it was one of mom's clients.
"Hey, Rosie it's me Dad!" said a familiar exuberant voice from the other line. I hesitated. Then replied back warily.
"Hey, dad.. what's up.. what do you need?"
"I just wanted to tell you that I am coming back today!! Can I talk to your mom?" He said.
I consented. Better for her to deal with this anyways.
"MOM!!" I shouted "DAD'S ON THE PHONE!!!" I heard her gasp in her bedroom then she came bustling out spilling coffee on the tiles.
"Give me the phone," she said acting upset with her hand out impatiently. Once I handed it over to her she shooed me out of the kitchen and closed the door behind me. I pressed up against the door trying to hear what she was saying. She seemed pretty upset, "I told you to call me on my cell...... what if.... I don't want my children talking to you!!" She whispered angrily. Then I heard murmurs coming from dad's line sounding pleading and pathetic.
"Ok but... only one more chance!"
murmurs from dad's line
"I don't want to see that look on our Lily's face again!"
"Fine but.... make sure..... don't forget!"
A happier sounding murmur
"Goodbye, Daniel." She said sounding resigned and hung up the phone.
I scurried over to the couch with Lily and whispered to her
"If she asks I was here the whole time" Lily smiled and nodded. Mom came out of the kitchen a few minutes later carrying slightly burnt eggs and bacon. I shot up
"Oh my gosh!! I am sooo sorry I totally forget about breakfast!!" She smiled but it didn't reach her eyes.
"It's fine honey, come on guys lets go eat breakfast." she said.
We settled at the table a little tension in the air, Lily looked confused because she had had no idea whom had called. Then mom cleared her throat and looked at us.
"Guess there's no point in prolonging the inevitable, Dad is coming back today and he's going to pick Lily up from school and spend some time with her. We'll meet at the house at 7 P.M. for dinner. Rose I know you wanted to go to Kat's house and I told you you couldn't because you have to pick up Lily, but you can now if you want to."
I smiled a little. Then Lily jumped around the room squealing. My smile faded a little bit, I had no idea what dad had planned for the afternoon with Lily, but he better not disappoint her again. I could tell mom was thinking the same thing. Then she made Lily calm down and we ate breakfast in a half silence. With me and mom wondering what was going to go wrong and Lily chattering about how excited she was oblivious to our silence.
Then it was time to go. The school bus was here for me, Lily's would show up in a half hour. I kissed Lily goodbye and told mom I would see her at 7 tonight. Then I got on the bus. Teenagers were stuffed in every nook and cranny of the bus and since I was the last stop of the day there was only one seat left. The gum seat. This seat has melted linty chewed gum all over the seat, and now not even the janitor will try to clean it. I was prepared though. Have been for 3 years ever since my freshman day when I was forced to sit there and got gum all over the seat of my jeans. That day was when I met my best friend Kat. She took one look at me that day and ran over to me and covered me up with her black jacket. Told me to keep it. Now I use it every day to spread it over the seat and then sit down. Once the bumpy ride was over I shoved and bumped my way off the bus and saw Kat waiting right outside the school doors. I waved and she smiled and waved right back. When I walked up to her she laughed.
"You're in a good mood, wearing that outfit always means you're in a good mood." Said Kat.
I took one look at her and said "And you're trying to impress someone, wearing that red lipstick, who are you after?" She smirked and said
"Todd Jenkins. He is such a hot item after he placed 2nd in the national swimming championship." I laughed and tried to make a case against him, mostly based on the fact that he shaves his legs.
"He only does to swim faster, besides, don't say anything but I think it's kind of sexy" She replied.
I started walking to my locker in the other building, best not to continue this conversation. Kat laughed at the expression on my face.
"So why are you in such a good mood today?" She asked.
"Well I was in a good mood when I was getting dressed.." I said trailing off at the end.
"Wait what happened, after?" Kat asked looking at me with her piercing blue eyes.
I sighed. "It's dad. He called and said he's coming back today, he's gonna spend the afternoon with Lily then come eat dinner with us."
"Wait isn't that a good thing?" Kat asked
I reached towards my locker and opened it, taking out my History and English textbook, and shoving in my gum covered jacket.
"Well, isn't it?" Kat asked again.
"NO!" I slammed the locker and spun around to glare at her.
"The last time he came he left Lily crying on the floor because he got drunk and just patted her on the head when he left!!" I shouted angrily. A few other kids in the building looked at us warily, then walked away as fast as they could. Kat wasn't scared though she came over and hugged me whispering how sorry she was.
"It'll be okay. I overreacted besides there is an upside to him coming over." I said with a dreamy smile on my face.
"What is it?" Kat asked, confused.
"Well you remember how I told you you didn't need to cover for me today?" I asked.
"Ya." Kat replied with a mischievous grin on her face again.
"Plan's back on. I'm going over to Drew's tonight and I told mom I would be at your house." I said.
"Oooh" Kat said seductively waggling her eyebrows. I smacked her arm lightly and we both laughed. The bell rang and we walked together to Art class, which we both had first period. When we sat down Mrs. Steel told us to resume painting our self portrait. Everyone in the class got out their unfinished painting, Kat's showcased her black messy hair perfectly and caught the impish red smirk on her pale face. Mine was good technically but I wasn't very pretty so I don't really like it.
"So what are the plans for Drew's?" asked Kat.
"Oh, well of course a little hot tub action, my back may require a massage." I said while painting my lips a light pink.
Kat laughed. "Damn girl, you learn well. It's a good thing your parents don't know about Drew!"
"Tell me about it!" I said.
My parents definitely would not approve of my boyfriend. Not that they even know I have ever had a boyfriend. Not that we ever do anything really inappropriate. It's just pretty much a PG-13 version of friends with benefits. We meet up maybe once a week and take out our "hormonal frustration" as mom would put it. It never goes too far though. Whenever he gets a bit too turned on for my liking I just tell him my mom is expecting me. Which isn't a complete lie. She's expecting me... just not at that specific time. Whatever. As Kat always says, who cares, as long as it makes you feel good.
The art teacher called clean up time and I looked down at my painting, it was half finished and I had one week left. Should be able to finish it by then.
I said good bye to Kat because my next class was AP European History and she has Calculus. I was happy though because Drew was AP Euro with me and I could tell him about the change of plans there. When I got there Mr. Brach handed out our assignments for the day, which was to fill out a spreadsheet about the Roman customs and why they fell, but how their culture lived on afterwords. Ugghh. The good news was that we could work with a partner though. So I caught Drew's eye and he nodded. As soon as we could we huddled in the corner of the room and pretended to work on the assignment.
"So, what's up?" Drew asked.
"Well you know those plans for today I had to say no to?" I asked.
"Ya." he said looking a little hopeful.
"Can we forget I said no?" I asked playing with my hands nervously.
"Ya totally. I was hoping you would ask that." He said with a huge smile.
After that we just arranged it so he would drive me to his house and then since his wasn't to far from mine I would walk home. Then we finally got to work on the assignment. Thankfully we finished the assignment a few minutes before class ended. The next few periods passed in a blur with nothing but new lessons and extra homework to keep me pre-occupied.
At lunch I walked over to Lily's elementary school like I always do every day and checked her out so we could eat lunch at Frankie's which is a hot dog stand next to a butterfly garden.
"So how is the day going? Have you learned anything interesting?" I asked Lily on the walk to Frankie's.
"Well, I learned that people used to think manatees were mermaids." She stated matter of factly then grimaced, "but I don't get it!! I mean how are manatees supposed to be mermaids," she lowered her voice "they're so ugly!"
I laughed. "Well I actually don't know, people back then were weird and one day people will be the saying the same thing about us."
"But we're not weird, they are." she said confused
"Ya they are weird." I said back grinning.
Then we got to Frankie's. I ordered Lily a plain hot dog with some assorted fruit and veggies, and me a hot dog with all the works and an apple. We walked over to the butterfly garden, it was a so large but it cost one dollar for both of us to get in. We wandered around then settled at the lily bushes. We stayed there watching the butterflies flit through the air.
I remembered the day that we first came here. We settled at the lily bushes that day too and stared in awe at the beautiful, delicate butterflies soaring through the air. Lily had whispered "They're so pretty" over and over. At the end of the day I hugged her and told her that she was a butterfly too, beautiful, delicate, and innocent. She smiled sweetly and said "I'm your butterfly, forever and always." I replied "And I yours."
Every day afterwards we ate lunch here and watched the butterflies, content with the beauty, peace, and love that seemed to always be in the air.
When we walked back to school we didn't say anything, just held hands. Once we got back I checked her back in, told her goodbye and said to remember Dad will be picking her up.
She frowned and seemed worried. I came down to her eye level and told her "Don't worry Lily. You'll have fun with him. Besides then you'll come back home and be my little butterfly again" I said and hugged her.
She hugged me back and then left without a word.
I went back to school a few minutes late to psychology, but my teacher didn't seem to care and just waved me to my seat. Each minute passed by so slowly until finally the last bell rang. I jumped up from my seat and raced to Drew's car. He walked up and we both jumped in the car and we drove away from school.
"So what are your parents up to today," I ask Drew.
"Oh, they're just going out for dinner and a movie. They'll be out till 10." He said, "How long are you gonna stay?"
"Until 6:30, I have a family dinner at 7." I looked at my watch, it was 3:07 we had time. Lily had been out of school for a half hour already, I hope she was having fun. I quickly changed my trail of thoughts when we pulled into Drew's driveway. I jumped out of the car and walked into the house with him. I went to his bathroom where my bikini was and he went out to the pool to turn the hot-tub on.
When I walked out I was in a red silky bikini and my brown hair was brushed into dark waves that fell down my shoulders. I saw the steam rising from the hot-tub and Drew was already soaking. I smiled at him and turned around so he could only see my back. I glanced back and slowly slid of the straps of my top and dropped it on the floor. I turned around and sashayed into the tub slowly once I was close enough he grabbed me by my waist and pulled me up against him. I straddled him and when he came to kiss me I smiled and put one finger over his lips I kissed on his neck working my way up until I reached his lips I kissed them hard. He buried his hands in my already wet hair and kissed back. His hands let go of my hair and wandered over my moist skin.
When he slipped his hand in my bikini bottom I gasped he used the advantage to press his tongue in my mouth. I tried to pull back. This was too much. I don't want him touching me there, I had told him that. He laughed and pulled me back. "Did you really think I was really going to just let you kiss me forever," He said with a hint of smugness in his voice.
"Back off Drew, I told you no!!" I said my voice quivering. It sounded better in my head.
"No way, You've been teasing me for too long, it's about time we make friends with benefits R-rated huh." He said angrier now.
He started sliding my bottom down and I gasped. I had to get out of here now. I shoved him back as hard as I could and stumbled out of the tub. I got a few feet away before he pushed me down on the floor.
"Go ahead scream, there's no-one around to hear you anyways," He laughed.
Right when he was about to get my bottom off of me a car sounded in the driveway. Drew leaped up cursing every profanity in his vocabulary. He ran in the house and came back out with my clothes he shoved them in my arms and then shoved me out of the door. His parting words were,
"Don't tell anyone."
After that I got dressed and ran away from his house and didn't stop. I was trembling all over and I didn't even know where I was going. I stopped at an abandoned park and sat on the swing sets. After maybe an hour I got up and looked at my watch. It was 6:19. I sighed and did the only thing I knew how to right now. I got up. Smoothed my hair straightened my clothes and started walking home.
I tried not to think about what had just happened. It made me feel itchy all over. So I thought about Mom, Dad, and especially Lily. Just thinking about Lily made me feel better. It was a long walk and my mind wandered all over the place. Then something pulled me out of my daze. The sound of sirens.
There was a large crowd gathered at an intersection, police cars were already there and the sirens of an ambulance weren't that far off. I didn't know why but for some reason my heart rate picked up and I walked faster towards the crowd. When I got there It was nearly impossible to get through the crowd. At one point when I was stuck I asked the man next to me what had happened. He said
"Some little girl got hit trying to cross the road, so terrible." he said shaking his head.
My heart jumped and I managed to elbow my way to the front. When I got there I wish I hadn't. It was like a dream. Everything around me slowed and the voices became slow and undecipherable. When I saw her face though about to be covered in a white sheet I broke out of it and yelled her name.
"LILY" I shouted. I ran forward past the police men waving their arms and shouting for me to stop. Past the paramedics trying to push me back. And ran towards her. My sister lying on the blood spattered sidewalk. I knelt down and cradled her in a bundle of white blood flecked sheets. I cried and didn't let go. People came up to me and tried to pry me away, but they eventually gave up.
I don't know how long I stayed there just holding her and pretending she was asleep, but eventually I looked up. The crowd was gone, but those who passed gave sympathetic looks. There was a Medical Examiner's truck and one Police car, the two men were both on a bench watching me.
I looked down at Lily, her still white face and closed her eyes, I laid her down, and wiped a few spots of blood off of her face. Then I swallowed all the tears pushing their way back up and leaned next to her whispering in her ear, "You are still My Butterfly." Then I got up. The police officer stood up and asked me who I was.
"Her sister." I croaked out. Then I started to walk away. The police officer shouted after me, said my parents were probably worried, said he needed to ask me question, but I started running and eventually his voice faded away.
I walked to Frankie's. The hot-dog parlor was closed and the garden was closed to. I didn't care. I scaled the gates and crawled over to the lily bushes. The sky started to drizzle and I fell asleep not sure if the wetness on my cheeks was the rain or my tears.
When I woke up I was covered in dried mud. I stood up and looked around the garden. There were no butterflies left, probably chased away by the storm. I turned away with an ache in my chest. I scaled back over the gate and walked back home. When I got there my parents hugged me and kissed me. Said they were worried. Said they were sorry. Said many useless things. The funeral was a few days later and I went, staying in the back dressed in all black. I was like a doll. Going through the motions. My grades dropped and I barely passed with C's. Mom got me a therapist that I usually tuned out. The next year came and I pretended everything was okay. Dad came around more often. I never forgave him. Lily died walking home because he forgot to pick her up when he got drunk again. He never drank again. I never talked to him again. Mom always cooked breakfast now.
A year after she died I cut class and walked over to Frankie's got a hot dog, and payed a dollar to get in. The lady tried to tell me it only cost 50 cents a person but I told her to keep the change. Once I got in I sat next to the lily bushes and set my hot-dog down. I fell asleep underneath the warm sun. When I woke up a butterfly was resting on my cheek and it flitted it wings, giving me a butterfly kiss then flew away. At that moment I knew that everything would be alright. It would never be the same but I would be all right.