She's a strange girl, she's quiet, she's almost too quiet. No one has noticed that she hasn't actually spoken in three weeks.
She's been carrying a notebook, just in case she has to answer a question, she looks at it, it's only got three words written on it.
She wrote thank you to her uncle, she can't remember what the two yess's were in reference to. She's sitting in the rain, her mother told her to come inside, but it doesn't matter, she's already chilled to her bone. She looks at her hands, they're so clean, not like her she's dirty and old and used.
Butterflies Play in the dirt beneath her feet.
The dirt looks like her hands should look. She tries to ignore the pull to the earth, but her fingers prick. She distracts herself by running her fingers through her dog's fur instead, but that doesn't scratch the incredible itch inside her soul.
She allows herself the one pleasure of running her hands through the dirt.
She smiles at her dog, the look of confusion on the dogs face, it's like she doesn't understand the sudden change, she looks afraid, she can probably sense the over whelming fear. The girl laughs some bitter laugh that borders on hysterical. It's a sick reaction to the reaction of her daring, or something like that.
She just sits like this always, she doesn't play with the other children at school, they're too loud and they don't understand, or she can't understand, she's not sure either way, they are not the same… she is dirty and cold.
She hasn't gone home in three days, she wants to cry when she does come home, her mother tells her she was just about to call the police. Did it really take three days for that, she could've been dead for all her mother knew.
'Look at me' her mother screams, She thinks she's been taking drugs or something.
'No you look at me' the girl says calmly.
'What happened? You used to be an angel' her mother tells her.
'And what am I now?' she asks.
Still her mother refuses to look. She's too dirty to look at, she knows it, just no one wants to see that kind of hoplesness.
She jumps of the jetty just because… she can't swim. Her heart was heavy for a child of barley eight years old. She wonders how he does it.
The boy that saves her, he speaks to her like he knows her, like he has always known her… like he is her. She thinks he's like the butterflies, graceful and kind and gently disturbing.
It's another lifetime away when he asks her if she's still dirty, it takes all that time for him to scrub her clean.
She wonders how he does it with that determination and affection.
'Are you afraid of them?' he asks her one day.
She doesn't understand, she nods but she doesn't know what he's telling her. Why would he ask what he already knows?
He kisses her forehead and smiles.
'I don't know why though, nobody else is afraid of them' she answers weeks later.
'They're just day moths' he tells her.
She knows, but then her irrational fear serves to prove what her uncle told her…she is afraid of everything.
And she's afraid of the dirt too.
He holds her hands and tries to rub them clean. But it won't come off. Maybe they both know it never really will.
She holds her dog close when he too becomes a butterfly.
And now there's no one to wipe the dirt away.
She's too crowded, to specific.
She covers her hands with long black gloves, to ensure only the butterflies will touch her.
And she draws pictures in the dirt, ropes, guns, water, knives… and always butterflies.
The butterflies flutter past her and she cries.
'Are you there god…please will you help me?'
The butterfly pauses and lands on her hand, it rubs its own face like it's trying to remove the dirt and she smiles.
She can talk again.