This time, it was different.
Huddled under the brick overhang, shivering as the icy wind threatened to draw the curtain of rain closer, I grinned as a hint of summer brushed my cheek. ”Isn’t it too cold for you?”
“Isn’t it too cold for you?” The butterfly settled on my shoulder, wings folding open and closed.
“It’s winter. Winter is always too cold.”
“But without winter, there would be no spring.” He huddled under my hair, two black antennae peering out.
“True.” I wrapped my arms closer around me, shivering. ”Some sun would be nice.”
“Without the rain”–
“I know, I know, one couldn’t appreciate the sun.” I rolled my eyes.
The wings brushed my cheek. ”You’re upset.”
I sighed. ”I’m not upset. Just…disappointed.” I tossed my hair, the butterfly inching closer to my neck. “Actually, I take that back. I’m not disappointed. I’m proud of my story. I don’t care what they think.”
“Are you sure?” Wings whispered in my ear.
“Absolutely.” Iron laced my words. ”I’m tired of being shoved into a box. Middle grade, young adult, adult….and then there was that woman who told me it was absolute crap and I shouldn’t waste my time…”
“Is it?” Two black dots peered closer.
I shrugged. ”Everything can be a waste of time. It just depends what you value. And in this case, I value myself. I value my story. I’m tired of trying to play by their rules. If they don’t like it, someone else will. I proved that once before.”
The wings opened and shut, approving. ”You’ve changed.”
“How?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Last year, you would have been in tears. You would have moped and cried, every shred of confidence frayed. Your dreams would have been shattered. Now…you glow.” The butterfly peered closer, delight in his tiny eyes. ”You found yourself again.”
“I’ve been lost for a long time.” Shivering, we drew closer. ”I forgot who I was, what I wanted.”
“How did you find it?”
“You know what they say.” I winked at him. ”"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come sit on your shoulder.”
“Thoreau.” Wings brushed my cheek. ”I guess it worked.”
I stretched out, extending my hand. Sunlight brushed my fingertips, the icy wind sweeping the last droplets of rain away. ”I guess it did.”
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