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A Thousand Pieres

Sabrina Solares

The sky had a lovely tint of tangerine, and was covered with clouds that announced that rain was soon to come. Even though I was aware of the rain, I sat there, contemplating the sunset instead. 

“Mom! Look! A butterfly!” I heard a child yell, clearly out of exhilaration. 

I turned my head to the right. It was indeed a young girl. On her finger sat a white butterfly– a Pieris– gradually stopping its wings. Her mom approached the young girl with curious blue eyes.

The child was dressed in a bright, fuschia silk dress. I looked down at my legs– instead of a fuschia dress, they were covered by a dull, beige dress with an apron on top. The apron was stained and wrinkled from long work days far from home. I would bet all my money (confessedly a small amount) that the child did not leave home unless she went to school or played with her jolly little friends. 

“Can I take it with me, mummy?”

“Well, I don’t think we have anywhere to keep it! I think it would be happier in its home, in nature. It’s getting late, honey, let’s get going,” her mother said, grabbing her hand.

“No! I don’t want to leave her!”

“There are thousands of white butterflies out there. You will find more, yes? Now, let’s go.”

The child’s contagious smile vanished immediately. Oh! That child. She was gloomy all because she had to go home, while that’s all I thought about throughout the day. 

I wondered what her name was. Her face– something about those big crimson cheeks, and two pigtails of golden hair– resembled a Dorothy. That’s it. I don’t know what her real name is, but to me, it was Dorothy. Like me.

I stared at her and her mom, hand in hand, leaving the park in slow steps. Dorothy seemed to have regained her joy, her feet bouncing off the ground. She looked up at her mom with the same smile that could light up a whole room. The whole sky! What I would give to be Dorothy again. Now I was merely “the spinster,” but everything about Dorothy helped my mind travel back to when I was little like her. 

I was consumed with my thoughts when the Pieris landed on my shoulder. It was staring at me. I knew it. I felt it.

“You, too, can be Dorothy again,” the butterfly seemed to whisper. The words were so soft they were nearly lost to the wind, and I would later wonder if I had even heard anything at all. But that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I, too, could be Dorothy again. After all, there were thousands of white butterflies out there.

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