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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2203353-The-butterfly
by K.HBey
Rated: E · Short Story · Educational · #2203353
William acquires both wealth and prestige but he is unfortunate.
Sitting in his swinging chair in his wide garden, William, an old man of eighty, seems completely absent and in another world. William loves this precious chair which was made of rosebush in Panama and which reminds him Patricia, his wife. Indeed, she used to sit on it too. Within such Californian sanctuary, made of an immense house and a beautiful courtyard, he leads his daily life. The castle was built in Victorian style. The frontage is tangerine and the stained glass windows add an exotic beauty to this building. There are four floors. The stairs are in brown marble. Everyday, the windows glow like a fire, with the reflection of sunset rays.
Surrounded by exotic plants, the garden seems like an immense forest. A mix of natural perfume emanates from the cedar trees and different flowers like jasmines and roses. Magnificent greenery is set here too.

With deadpan features carved on his face, William seems very thoughtful today.
Then he remembers that first meeting.
"Hello, Miss Patricia Columbus, isn't it, William said.
" Yes, Patricia said".
"I am William Combert. I am your colleague and professor of biology and sciences here at the University of San Diego.I would like to discuss on your last interesting butterfly course, he replied". Patricia flushes with pleasure.

Patricia was a brown young woman with dark eyes and black hair. Her swarthy skin enhances her beauty.
When first they met, they fell in love. That day Patricia was wearing a wonderful stunning red dress.
"A week later, William asked her, will you marry me?"
Patricia agreed spontaneously. She was so happy that day and very beautiful. Her eyes were shining and her heart was fluttering.
Patricia was born in Panama. Her mother was Panamanian and her father was Dutch. Patricia became William's wife henceforth.
William remembers their marriage day, as if it were yesterday.

Emma his granddaughter is so excited. She comes in a hurry, crossing fast such familiar path, to reach promptly her grandpa. Her cheeks are reddish and her face is shining with happiness. Suddenly, she interrupts her grandpa's ruminating pansies. Indeed such dear memories are all that Patricia left to William.
"Grandpa, would you come with me please? I have just seen an immense butterfly. It is green and yellow and has black spots. Also it has tangerine shadings on its posterior wings, she says".
"Where have you seen it, cute girl, he says". "It is over there near the fountain close to the cedar trees, grandpa."
"OK! Let's go. I look forward to seeing it, he says".

Towards the path, William is enthusiast to go with Emma. Hand in hand with her grandpa, Emma is completely both proud and happy to be with him. Emma is a red hair girl with many freckles and black eyes. She is ten years. She looks like her grandma a lot.
"Grandpa, have you seen giant butterflies previously, she says."
"Yes! In Golf of Mexico and in Panama where there were so beautiful giant butterflies, he says". "Grandpa, was grandma with you, she says".
Grandpa becomes suddenly very sad and his eyes get moist. "Unfortunately she was not with me", he replies briefly and continues. "Here is your butterfly Emma. I see it on the rose over there".

""Wonderful! I am going to take a picture of it, she says".
When grandpa observes the butterfly, an avalanche of memories are released, suddenly.

Patricia was a butterfly researcher. She was completely passionate about such insect. She had written many books about butterflies.
Patricia had found an important research about the Giant Panamanian butterfly-moth. She had discovered that rhodopsin release is increased during night in the butterfly-moth. She had discovered that the cone cells have a particular characteristic. They can store great quantities of rhodopsin due to a specific enzyme. During the day they use their acoustic system due to their sophisticated antennas.
The discovery was amazing and it would revolutionize the insect biology science.
William still keeps live such day where a hot discussion was undertaken with Patricia.
"William said, Patricia my dear wife, you should publish your researches under my name". She refused to do so. "Then he added, Listen! Such research will enhance my position within the local policy parliament . As you know my party lost the election last year. Also you are aware about my financial troubles. Add to this, as a Panamanian your research would not be taken into consideration".
With great difficulties, she agreed because of her two children. "She told him, I love you my dear husband but William, henceforth, you have completely deceived me. Your selfishness surpasses your love for me. Your children and grandchildren will attest to your acts. The day will come when you must render to Cesar what belongs to Cesar."

However after that event, she had a period of depression.He incited her to travel. During her absence, he published her work and earned both prestige and wealth. He became fully arrogant with his colleagues at the university and the deputies of his policy party. He was given a high policy position indeed.
When she returned, she continued researches about butterflies. She did all that she could in order to preserve her marriage because of her children.

William has never revealed this secret about Patricia's researches and the publications under his name. Now, in the eyes of his granddaughter he sees Patricia eyes that left such world one year ago. Now, all such both accumulated wealth and great achieved position, is due to Patricia. On his tie there is a silver butterfly brush offered by Patricia to him for his birthday just before she died. Now, William cries in silence and remorse gnaws his weak heart. He does not know how to render things that belong to Cesar. Especially that Patricia is dead.

"Grandpa, I have a surprise for you, Emma says." She surprises her grandpa who is still submerged within his painful past.
When they go back home he finds a great fruit cake anniversary shaped into a butterfly. Also she offers her grandpa something special. "Grandpa, close your eyes please, she says".
He opens his eyes for finding a beautiful giant dried butterfly-moth which has been preserved in a glace and which serves as a bookmark. The butterfly resembles Patricia's butterfly that she chose for her researches.
Tears flood his blue eyes and he hugs his granddaughter warmly. "I love you Emma, he says". "I have a present for you too, he continues". The present is wrapped in multicolored paper.
Emma opens it impatiently. She finds a big butterfly biological book titled Panama Giant Butterfly-Moth and written by Patricia Columbus.
"I love you grandpa, she says". When she sees her grandma's picture on the book preface, she asks her grandpa , "Is it a book of my grandma and she gives him great both kisses and hugs, she is so excited."
" Yes! Indeed she always was and remains a great butterfly researcher, he says."

1161 words

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