• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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At Least Thirteen

There were too many butterflies. Each begging for an answer. One promised a life of admiration. Another, adventure. With luxuries of fine dining. Passionate love. With gardens of every shape and size. She wanted to believe each. They took turns whispering, laughing, and imploring. It was too loud. She could not think. She was trying to find silence in the cacophony. For appearances, she laughed, or tried to, but it came out as a cough, a wheezing unforgivable cough. To her relief, the butterflies began to depart.

Good, she thought. I cannot handle this much attention. As soon as her coughing had subsided however, they returned. She looked up at the sky. She could see plain blue and plain clouds. And for the first time, she simply wished to see the sky, unfettered by butterflies.

But it was no use. The butterflies, each and everyone demanded her attention. Each seductive, each assuring her that commitment to their proposal would surely stack the odds in her favor. What favor was that? Thirteen were in her field of vision. At least she thought that was right; math was never her strong suit and the way they kept whirring around was certainly not helping. She did her best to keep track, deciding she would start with the four that had landed on her face. She realized now that the invitations she deciphered earlier on were coming from these specific intruders.

Admiration promised a life filled with a steady validation of her decisions. Well, she could certainly use that now in this moment of doubt and overwhelm.


At Least Thirteen

Adventure promised that no part of the journey would ever be boring or without playfulness and that she would see a great many things, and travel great distances.

She had been sure that she had heard one promise fine dining, but now she could not locate that one. She realized that she was ravenously hungry and concluded that instead this was her own inner voice speaking. It was hard to continue as she was becoming lightheaded, but the butterflies would not move, and eating with them fluttering about was out of the question.

Passionate love promised endless nights of romantic intrigue, with her life a continual blossom of all that made her feel most sensually alive.

Gardens, yes, gardens seemed to be what this one called herself, smelled most divinely of petrichor and the scent of many roses subsumed in the cool mists of spring.

She knew that these four options were not all she had to work with, and yet, she knew that brushing these off would only invite new ones. She could not fathom starting over. She reckoned it best to work with what, or whom, was already present.

It was at this point, however, that they began arguing amongst themselves for rank. She closed her eyes and prayed for a dream that would bring her out of this maze.