The tangy smell overwhelmed the room, along with the sheer amount of flowers in every nook and cranny throughout the whole conservatory. Rainbows of color and flashes of beauty fluttered past my peripheral vision, but nothing passed my thick and heavy door of anger. The thick and heavy door of anger that I shut myself off with and put a heavy and jammed lock on. But I was stuck with the words behind the door.
Words. Words. More words, all echoing in my head.
You’re not important.
Bitterness filled my mouth as the negativity bounced around my head. They were getting to me. I guess I thought that they were true too. I mean, I was just ...view middle of the document...
Then there was something on the back of my right hand. Something light. Something gentle. My cumulonimbus clouds of anger momentarily parted, and I looked up to see... A frail little painted lady butterfly, anxiously flapping its tired wings slow enough so it didn’t take off, but fast enough for me to sense slight little breezes over my hand.
The bitterness filled me up again. So easy was it to have smushed it, to have destroyed its pretty little wings, to have rip apart its very life force. I closed my hands to two tight little fists. The little painted lady grew frantic, but didn’t leave my hand. Time seemed to have slowed.
I raised my left hand, ready to abolish the butterfly.
And I stopped.
I didn’t know why I stopped. Maybe it was because I saw its pure innocence. Maybe I pretended that I was the butterfly watching what would have been the end; not able to move out of fear. But I still stopped. The butterfly lived on for another day.
Furious at myself for even considering such cruel thoughts, I apologized profusely to the little butterfly. Its antennae seemed to have said something along the lines of, “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay...”
To calm myself down, I observed the little painted lady. Its delicate wings were billions of shades of orange, black, and white, from dark to light, dull to brilliant. Its proboscis repeatedly curled up and loosened. Its thin little legs felt around my hand, curious about what laid ahead. I sighed inwardly, glad that I didn’t let my agitation get the better of me.
The jammed lock was unlocked, and the door of my anger opened and let me outside to see the beauty of the rainbows and butterflies. Literally.
Feeling like a cloud, I floated off the bench, and started over to an area containing the chrysalises. The little painted lady butterfly flitted off of my hand. Feeling a little rejected and alone, I went on. Suddenly, someone came up from behind and grabbed my hand with their much smaller hand. Alarmed, I turned my head and saw my little sister smiling brilliantly at me. I smiled back. Oh, when ignorance was not just a gift.
Together, we walked, hand in hand, to the chrysalises. We stared at the small brown, green, and translucent coverings through the glass (which protected the butterflies from children like us from touching them), noticing that occasionally, one of the butterfly-to-be “houses” would twitch. My little sister squealed with excitement every time something moved.
I looked down.
And I saw it.
At the bottom of the box in which the chrysalises were kept was a newly emerged butterfly, helplessly breathing on its side, its wet wings a crumpled blue heap next to its bulging body. Before going to the conservatory, I attentively combed through the page of a short book about butterflies, and I knew that when they emerged, they would have to dry their wings or else they would not be able to fly, or if they were lucky, be able to fly but with poor performance. Even with my so-called...