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butterfly

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Oliver sat, surrounded by hundreds of photographs, in the middle of the floor. Even with the CD Vanna made for him, the bright, happy mood of all the faces smiling up at him was drowned in the sorrow emanating from Oliver and everyone else in the house. Oliver had locked himself in the empty back bedroom that had, only two weeks prior, been cheerfully and chaotically decorated with all of Vanna’s things. This was Oliver’s sorry attempt to escape the sea of mournful faces, black clothes, and painful recollections of what should have been happy memories.

Oliver lifted one photo from the floor and smiled gently back down at the five year old Vanna squinting in the sunlight and exposing her toothless grin. The memories of that day, the first day they met flooded into his head causing few of the tears he’d been holding back for far too long to slip down his face.
He was now staring up at the huge old plantation house his mother had just inherited from an old boss. The house, Vanna Manor, was about 20 minutes away from a tiny town adjacent to the city they previously lived in.as the family explored the grounds of the estate, a little girl skipped up the driveway followed by a smiling young woman with short honey blonde hair. Oliver’s mother walked over and met the woman in the drive but the young girl ran straight for Oliver, who was sitting by the pond watching the little fish.
“Hi! I’m Vanna!” she smiled down at his reflection on the water “you know, like your house!” he looked up at her listening attentively as she went on rambling about her name. He couldn’t help but smile at her. Out of nowhere a strange little light blue butterfly that Oliver didn’t recognize (which is odd because Oliver enjoyed studying insects, specifically butterflies) fluttered past him and landed right on Vanna’s nose. She giggled and crossed her eyes in an attempt to see the butterfly. “Did you know that Vanna also means butterfly?” He smiled at her and shook his head. They sat by that pond and talked and laughed and snapped pictures with the Polaroid camera that Vanna always had with her for the rest of the day and every other chance they got throughout the next twelve years. Vanna was his Butterfly, his best friend, and the love of his life.
Oliver stood, picture still in hand, and ran out of the house. He ran down the street and up to the little pond where he and Vanna would always sit together. He broke down. He screamed and yelled. He cursed and cried. He fell to the ground, his face buried in his hands and just let go. He let it all out and didn’t hold anything in. what seemed like an eternity later, he took a deep breath and crossed his arms on top of his knees and sat his head on them. He sniffled a little and opened his eyes. A countless number of strange little light blue butterflies sat all around him. “Vanna!” he called. All the butterflies flew up and fluttered all around at the sound of his loud cry. Through the translucent blue of all the butterflies he saw the outline of Vanna as she reached for him. Amongst all the commotion of the fleeing butterflies he managed to hear a sweet gentle whisper. “I love you”
He held his breath for a moment listening for her voice once more, searching for her through the thick blue. As majority of the butterflies were gone and he had just given up his hopes of seeing his beloved Vanna again he closed his eyes and exhaled and let out a very quiet “I love you too”



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