I’ve been submitting this short story for contests for years now and it never won anything. I think it’s time to share it here and see what everyone thinks. Hope you like it! ♥
A Child’s Heart.
With one loud “Bam” a life ended, her soul was setting off with the wind, as she caught her last breath. Her eyes closed slowly, as her mind revised the precious moments of her life. Her beautiful childhood memories wavered infront of her eyes, and skipped into the marvelous day when she wore that wedding dress, surrounded by her family. Her little girl Christy, and the amazing fact that the second she set her eyes on her she discovered love at first sight. Then her eyes shut completely and her soul flew with the wind, leaving her wounded body as a painful truth for the family to endure. She could see Christy crying for her, but she couldn’t answer. She could hear her screams, but couldn’t reach down to calm her. The higher her soul lifted high into the clouds the farther she let go of all what she knew.
It’s true what they say “What you love can never let you go.” Even with a child who barely had few years with her mother. Christy was determined to love that shadow, the guiding angel she sensed every time she prayed. That strange yet lovable figure she spotted in pictures, holding her with love.
“When is mommy coming back?” Christy whined at her seventeen-year-old aunt Molly.
Even though Molly was grief-stricken she tried so hard not to cry infront of her niece. She wiped a tear off her cheek and turned to Christy. She noticed how the gloomy atmosphere set a mood of unpleasantness in the child. Molly kneeled down and smiled. The look on her niece’s face told her that Christy sensed something was wrong, “Mommy isn’t coming back darling.” Molly wasn’t sure how to explain it to someone so young so she added bluntly, “Your mother is teaching in a far away school.”
Christy was a miniature model of her mother. She had brown eyes the long straight hair that followed little curls at the end. Molly adored the way Christy invented stories and made sure everyone believed her. Molly was surprised that even in the midst of darkness Christy was determined to sing, play and ask questions. “Why is everyone wearing black? I want you to wear colors again.” she once said, while playing hairdresser with Molly before bedtime. “I will soon sweetie I promise, as soon as all these people leave.” Molly answered, knowing deep down that’s what her sister would have wanted to drop all the black and just shake it off, for the sake of the child.
When you lose someone, every minute without her seems like eternity. You start thinking that your days turn into years, as you wait for the sun to shine again. As a teenager Molly never looked at it the way a child did, for the first two years all she sensed was her world tumbling down like a pack of cards, that had been neatly arranging for years. All the hopes and dreams she had shared with her sister seemed to waver over her head, and she saw them as a never ending struggle. Molly feared the day when Christy would start asking difficult questions, that it sometimes kept her up all night. However, she powered through by making a decision to see her niece every chance she got. She wanted to pay all the love she shared with her sister to a child who had lost her entire world. Molly was determined to push through and shield her niece from grief. She wanted to show her how beautiful life could still be.
One beautiful spring day, as Molly and Christy were returning home from a fun day at the zoo. Christy found a butterfly in the driveway. She picked it up gently in her hands, curiously watching its mix of black and red color. Molly was in a hurry to leave so she asked Christy to say goodbye to the butterfly.
“But I wanna keep it, can I please?” Christy whined.
Molly crouched down to look the six year old in the eyes, “You know that this butterfly has wings so it can fly?”
“Yes…so?” The child asked confused.
“So…what happens if you keep it in a jar, where it can’t use those pretty wings to fly. Won’t it be sad?” Molly asked putting a hand on the little girl’s shoulder pointing her to the direction of some flowers.
“Time to say goodbye my love…Set it free.” Molly was astonished by how easy it was to persuade a child so young into this decision. However, each time Christy released the butterfly it would come back and land on her hand.
“Wow this is the seventh time it comes back!” Christy screeched.
“That’s pretty unusual”, Molly said and let it go herself. This time it flew to the flowers nearby.
Christy waved goodbye to the butterfly and climbed in the car giggling, “Did you see that? That butterfly loved me soo soo much it didn’t want to leave.”
Molly laughed along her niece’s innocent statement, just as she was turning the car on. A question from Christy struck as lightning, “Do you think that was mommy?”
In less than a second, every thought in Molly’s mind flew away. Her keys fell and she felt numb at the un-expected question. She had no strength to pick her keys up or even to remember how to turn on the car. All she could do was laugh to give herself time to think. The more she delved into her thoughts, the more her mind seemed to shut off. All of a sudden, Molly felt her heart had taken over her brain, “You know something sweetie mommy could have sent that butterfly from heaven, but you forgot one point. You probably don’t remember this and maybe I don’t say it much…” Molly noticed Christy’s brown eyes staring into her soul. She continued lovingly, “Nobody in the whole world could ever love you as mommy did and still does.”
The little girl looked at the floor, “I don’t always feel she loves me.” Christy pouted.
Molly gently held her niece’s hand, “I am so proud of you how you let go of that butterfly for its own good, because most times in life we have to let go of our loved ones, but it can’t possibly mean by doing that we love them any less or they actually mean less to us.”
Christy nodded and sighed with relief as if she had wanted to ask that question for years, “Is that how mum is now? She’s flying somewhere over the clouds?”
“Yes she is, and it’s a very happy place up there where she can listen to your every word and watch you grow.” Molly replied with a wave of sadness veiling her heart.
“If she can see and listen to me…Why can’t she be with me?”
“In some ways, she is with you! You can carry her with you to school just by thinking of her. You keep in the one place that no one could enter, because they’ll never have that special key. No one could ever have that special place that your mother had.”
“Where is that?” The startled six year old asked.
Molly guided her niece’s hand to her chest, “In your heart, you can keep her there forever. Talk to her whenever you want, you can write to her asking her what to do when you’re confused and lost.” Molly felt her eyes swell up her eyes.
Christy stared out the window for a minute , “My heart tells me that mommy sent that butterfly to check on me, and I sent it back to her to say that I love her and that I’m happy.” she said and her giggle echoed through the car.
An enormous force pushed upon Molly as she felt how tiny she was, compared to the little girl’s thoughts. Instead of teaching the little girl about life, Christy had taught her the most important lesson of all that day.
We humans are desperate in our nature to see the white instead of the black, even through the darkest times. The youngest are the wisest they see the world simply in colors, that’s why they can catch the silver lining in the black clouds, before any adult does. Their hearts are pure and they listen to it instinctively.
Molly had already hated the day when Christy had many hard questions to ask. Instead, she had felt God’s guiding light in the words of a six year old, and discovered that she had gained strength from the past two years. A small child whom Molly thought was frail had shown her unconditional love and laughter again.
We never do stop to catch a butterfly, and set it back free sending it to our cherished ones. Maybe it’s too painful sometimes to believe that someone, we’ve already lost touch to, is out there in an angel form watching over us. This is probably the number one motive to look at life through a child’s heart.