Where the Butterfly Goes

November 7, 2016

A young girl whose breath smells of fresh bubble
gum toothpaste hurries back to her room, legs
covered in polka dot printed flannel,
ran as quickly as they could. She turned the
corner into her room and leapt onto
her bed. Her little toes snuck under the
cozy, pink sheets and she looked over to
greet the woman parked at her bedside with
an enticed expression.

“Nana, can you
please tell me my bedtime story now?” begged
the girl. She met Nana’s eyes and the frail
grandmother reached out a quivering hand
and brushed it across the girl’s rosy cheek.
“Of course I will, my sweet Celine, but first
Nana needs to tell you something.” Her eyes
became glazed with tears as she glanced to
see her granddaughter waiting to hear what
her role model would tell her. Nana looked
down and blinked her tears away. Her brittle
voice continued, “Celine, Nana loves you
very much, but tonight will be our last
storytime. I have to go somewhere and
you won’t be able to see me again.”
The smile instantly wilted from the young
girl’s face and creases began to line her
forehead. Celine fell victim to anger
and confusion. She was hurt that Nana
would leave her for something else. Her stomach
sank, but Nana tried to help her grasp why.

“Do you remember what I told you I
would pick as my superpower?”


“I said I
wanted to be able to jump super
high and you said you wanted to fly,”
answered Celine.

    “Well, where I am going
I will be able to fly! Where I am
going I can walk, run, dance, and soar
through the sky. Where I am going I will
not ever cry because I will not have
anymore sore nights. Where I am going
the skies are blue with big, white clouds waltzing
through. Where I am going, I will be free.”

“What does it mean to be free?” asked the girl.

“Being free means nothing can hold you down.”

Nana looked at Celine and saw she was
confused again, so Nana told Celine
that her last bedtime story will help her
understand. “You need to remember the
story Nana is about to tell you
because once you get older it will help
you understand why I had to leave you.”

Nana began, “Once upon a time there
was a young girl that saved every coin she
got so she could have enough to buy a
doll. One day she saved enough and bought one
from the store. She played with it for many
years, but it got dirty and old, and her
mom said she had to throw it away. The
girl did not want to let go of her doll.
She eventually realized that her doll
wouldn’t be happy to play with her any-
more because she was falling apart. So
she gave it to her mom and let her take
her away.” By the time Nana was done
she found Celine peacefully asleep. She
leaned over and gave her one last kiss goodbye.

The next day Celine woke up and the
sky was gloomy and grey. She got of bed
and went to play. After an hour her
mom made her change to get ready for the
day. Celine felt moody, so she stomped to
her room. She picked out a pair of blue jeans
and a plain, grey top. Celine went back to
playing outside and the year went by each
day looking the same. From then on, all was
downcast and blue.

A year went by and there
was nothing new. Celine went to play out
in the morning dew. She sat on a swing
and moved to and fro when a butterfly
came and cast color into her world. The
girl was intrigued and chased after the
bright butterfly. Its wings were red with black
borders. Celine swung her net and caught it.
She brought it to an old ice cream pail and
released it from the net, but quickly snapped
down the lid. She grabbed a pen and
dug several, small holes across the top.
She watched the butterfly thwack the plastic
wall. She crouched over the pale to peek through
the holes. She watched as the butterfly slowed
the beat of its wings. She noticed that the
butterfly was no longer spirited,
but rather fatigued. She continued to
watch the butterfly settle at the base
of the pale and allow its wings to fall
limp. A pit in her stomach began to
weigh her down; she knew she had felt like this

She remembered what it looked like
when it flashed before her on the swing. She
knew how beautiful it could be, so she
decided to let it go. She opened
the lid and watched it fly high up in the
sky and each beat the wings made Celine found
a new color within its wings. She found
the red fading into a fiery orange
with flecks of yellow. It turned into a
new version of what it once was. Its wings
again fluttered with pride as it twirled through
the sky. She watched the butterfly
glide about the billowing clouds mid the
light blue sky as bright yellow rays spilled on
them. In a gentle whisper she said,
“Hi Nana.”

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