P U B E R T Y I S H A R D. BECOMING THAT PERSON YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE IS EVEN HARDER. AS MELANIE PREPARES FOR HER FIRST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL, HER STOMACH CHURNS. SHE WONDERS IF SHE WILL RUN INTO THE CLASSMATES WHO HAVE TORMENTED HER IN THE PAST, OR IF SHE’LL BE ALLOWED TO GROW INTO THE PERSON SHE HAS ALWAYS WANTED TO BE, WITH A FRESH START.
She opens the door. All eyes are on her. The person she has tried to escape, Paris, is sitting in the front row. Paris smiles with the maliciousness of the Cheshire Cat as her friends stare with piercing glances. The anxiety shifting and swirling inside of Melanie’s stomach feels like acidic butterflies drowning internally. She takes a seat. Her enemy gets up and whispers, “Ugly bitch,” with a venomous smile. The teacher notices but brushes it off. Girls will be girls. Melanie crawls back into her shell.
THAT IS THE WORLD MELANIE LIVES IN. E V E R Y D A Y.
Years worth of degradation from your peers can manifest itself in the way you walk, talk, and express yourself physically. It can affect your ability to learn and grow.
Evolution undoubtedly plays a key role in our fight for survival.
Thus, these two creatures, man and insect, coexist in a world where the environment has a direct influence on their ability to survive.
Will Melanie fight for the right to survive? Or will she be consumed by her own existence?
M O R E T H A N A S T O R Y : A Note From the Writer.
The transition from caterpillar into butterfly is a vicious experience. Inside of its shell a caterpillar digests itself, breaking down its body to form something new on a molecular level. Butterflies, is a rare look inside the shell of a young girl, as she is digested.
This is more than just a story for me. It is based on real events from my educational experience that shaped my personal and social development. Growing up in a small town in Maryland, I had a quest for knowledge starting at a young age. I remember x-ing off the days until my first day of school as my mom sipped her morning coffee. I remember thinking every year, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll make friends, everyone makes friends.” After the 3rd grade, things changed.
Going to school made me physically ill. My quest for knowledge was stifled by intrusive anxiety as a result of the malicious verbal attacks from my classmates. I was teased because my mother worked there. I was teased because I loved learning. I was teased because I was multiracial and perceived as different. In one of the most critical parts in my childhood development, I was told that I was ugly and didn’t deserve to exist. When you are told that over and over again, for years, you begin to think it is true.
Nevertheless, I have always been the type of person to try and turn a negative into a positive.
Butterflies seeks to explore avenues of change and what girls can do to overcome obstacles of oppression within the confines of a toxic environment. What does this do to the development of their identity? It examines possible causes of such aggression and deals with a realistic look at how it affects everyone involved and what we can do as a society to solve the problem. It gives the victims an idea of how to cope and move forward in a positive light.
The Butterfly Effect: “In the Chaos Theory, is the effect where a small change in a nonlinear system can result in larger differences over time.”