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The Butterfly & The Cougar
We used to sit in the car on some side street usually at some time of the early evening. Sometimes, I enjoyed myself, I enjoyed his company- other times, I would force a tight smile and laugh nervously till it was time to get back to school or make my way home. There was always music playing, a cracked mixtape providing the soundtrack to our evenings. It never occurred to me that it was always the same songs playing over and over again on those nights, it never occurred to me that he was that clever.
Crack open a window; we exchange cigarette smoke for sharp winter winds.
Listen intently while not listening at all to the static and scratches under the sad melody.
Repeat the words over and over again in my head- Butterfly, I’m sorry, I did what…
Look forward; look directly into a maze of manipulation and self-gratification and childish revenge.
Feel the heat from the car, from the tension
Lose myself in color, warm and familiar orbs of hazel and caramel.
Contemplate the crying names, the sad melody-Butterfly, I’m sorry, my body told me to…
Hear the heartbroken words from the cassette tape and the empty promises from the vocal box
Contemplate the future, no longer with hope but with a cold crash of reality.
Lose my mind, lose everything and nothing all at once
Feel mutual respect that never existed leave with the smoke
Look through the hollow orbs and past the past and straight to the truth
Repeat the words and the names and the days and the months and the apologies
Listen to the voice that was screaming at me all along
Crack the enigma and cords that kept the Cougar around.
And that was it.
Everything happened but at the same time, nothing happened. I felt something while feeling numb, I listened to the words without hearing the meaning. It wasn’t a matter of listening close, it was a matter of allowing myself to hear the truth and understanding what I had done. I understood that there are some things, that no matter how much time goes past, how many times you apologize or how many people you forget, they just won’t be the same once they’ve been broke.
And so, it was on one of those nights on one of those side streets that I learned what the butterfly was saying.