The Voice Issue 30: July/August 2017 - Page 25

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If she closed her eyes, she was there. The rocky beaches of Maine, with their dull gray-colored waves, giving way to the more exciting, colorful ideas of cafes in Sicily or Paris. Music seemed to fill the air around her; it was as if she could breathe it, taste it, smell it, touch it. It all seemed so real to her. The scents of exotic cuisine that she had never actually smelled before seemed to fill the air around her, engulfing her in the sweet aroma of promise and hope.

A smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she imagined herself sitting in a cafe next to a much nicer beach in a much nicer place. The rocks beneath her gave way to the image of a metal chair, and she straightened herself up, as she imagined the music that would surround her once she got there. Violins, violas, cellos, it all washed over her in a wave of classical music, sweeping her away to the distant shores of an unknown world. Slowly the music replaced the calls of seagulls, and she leapt into her daydream giddily.

Here, or there, wherever she was, sparkling blue and green waves replaced dull gray ones, and she watched, grinning, as they crashed down upon golden grains of sand. A light breeze blew, creating ripples in the expanse of clear, unpolluted water that surrounded her, and blowing grains of sparkling sand this way and that. As her dress rippled against her ankles, she stared down at her feet, at her rust brown flip flops, now covered in sand, and she scanned the beach for sparkling shells. Smiling, she picked one up, and brushed the sand from its outside. It fell against the beach and she was snapped out of her delusions.

Butterflies could only carry so much weight after all and it seemed the weight of her dreams had proven too much for one to carry. Her eyes drifted up toward the gray, cloudy sky that she knew would soon be full of the bright dancing figures of butterflies as they migrated toward Mexico. The smells of exotic foods were quickly replaced by the foul odor of rotting fish, and gasoline, and her picture of a sparkling seaside was forced to give way to the dreary reality of Fairview, Maine’s Fairview beach.

Shaking her head slowly, Olivia pushed herself up, and walked away from the rocky patch of beach and down the dirt trail that led out into the small stretch of woods beyond the beach. From her vantage point she could make out people laughing and mingling down below. Tourists, and annoyed townspeople, all attempting to enjoy, what she had to admit, was a very dreary August day. It was the last three weeks of summer, the ones that nobody can really enjoy because they’re panicking over whether they’re enjoying them enough.

Olivia herself was worried about this very thing as she picked her way through the forest, weaving through trees, ducking under branches, and leaping over the undergrowth. She walked along a path that, while not directly hidden, was far enough away that anyone who wasn’t actively looking for her wouldn’t be able to find her. It was her second year in Fairview Middle School, and she was dreading it. The rumors and gossip where all fine and dandy, she had come to expect those; there was something else tugging at her, though what it was she wasn’t sure. In any case, she was sure she dreaded going back to school the most out of all of Fairview.

When she was younger, Olivia had loved to read and explore. She’d opened up magazine after magazine from National Geographic. Her eyes always drawn to the bright butterflies on the page, she’d read up on them, learning all she could, and it paid off. By the time she was old enough to start kindergarten, she’d memorized all kinds of information about butterflies. Flight patterns, wing spans, life expectancy; if you could name it, she knew it.

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