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Butterflies

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It was a day, like any other, really.
January.
The sky was a clear shade of steel blue,
the grass, an odd shade of butterscotch.
The sun shined in the Summer.
It had been months since I felt its rays.
And there she stood, amidst the living, yet lifeless, grass.

I did not know her name, nor did I care.
I saw her walking to school every day.
The purple butterflies on her backpack matched those on her hair clips.
She looked to be around seven.

She was almost insectile.
One didn’t have to know her to know she was shy.
People often called her “cocoon”.
I don’t think she liked that too much.

My mom watched the news every night.
I found it odd they only showed tragedies.
I never really payed attention until
I saw a face of a man. A killer.
A monster trapped in a human body.

He was free. He murdered the masses and walked away.
The newscasters showed the victims.
A lawyer. A congresswoman. A reporter.
They were fathers, mothers, sisters, cousins.
Strangers to me, the life of others.
Among them, a familiar face.

“She is blonde,” I thought.
“Was blonde.”
I had never noticed.
I knew it was her. I remembered the hair clips.

I wish I had known her.
They showed her mom crying.
“The body has been identified. Phoebe Skipper....”
the television kept speaking.

Phoebe. That was her name.
She was a two years older than I.
And now, she was gone.

My mom saw me.
Immediately, she shut the television off.
She told me Phoebe went to my school.
I could sense she was hiding something.
I knew the truth.

I remembered last Sunday’s mass.
“Heaven.”
Thats what the pastor called it.
I hoped that butterflies can fly to heaven.
I still do.





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