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Like a Moth to a Flame

By Bethany Grzesiak All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Other


When a tattered shoebox boomerangs back into Olivia’s life, the notes stashed inside run the risk of reigniting painful memories that have been compartmentalized deep into the crevices of her mind. At 88 years old, Olivia is uncertain if she should reveal her troubled past or take her secrets to the grave. As she finds out, her intentions are irrelevant, because the shoebox has an agenda of its own. Like the urge to touch a hot stove, she throws caution to the wind when a gut feeling tells her to open the notes. Doing so rehashes monumental loves that have entered and exited her life. In a hypnotic state she is mentally transported to significant scenes, reliving them as if they are in real time and reciting the dialogue aloud. At 15, Olivia loses her first love, her father, in a homestead coal fire. Depression sinks its claws into her mother but Olivia still has to manage to mature alone. At 28 she finds herself pregnant but desperate to flee the relationship. She pursues a “therapeutic abortion” during a period when it’s illegal. Finally, at 32 the revelation of the beauty of life comes like the candle fire that flickers around her while dancing the zapateado at a Quincaenera.

Reflections: Olivia’s Journal - One week earlier

It is my understanding that indelible life lessons are best handed down while rocking comfortably on the serenity of a porch. My first teacher, my Grandma, first demonstrated this by cleverly rendering ethical allegories at an age when my absorbent mind could lock them away from the thieves of time. They’ve become ingrained into the fibers of my being, skillfully escaping the grip of dementia over the years.

Always interested in my adventures, she would ask about my discoveries, while gently swaying back and forth on a swing, passing her weight from heel to toe. Conversation balanced by comfortable silence, when we would pause to embrace the still of dusk, watching our neighbors retreat to their homes after hours of gardening and yard work. Knowing how attached to her I was, her story’s heroine would often embody vitality and independence. Then, one day, the myths bluntly turned to facts.

“I won’t be here forever,” she would say. When first hearing these words, a life without my Grandma was unimaginable. “Stop talking like that!” I countered. So she did. She changed the topic to something much lighter, but a couple evenings later the same phrase was spoken, once again testing my willingness to accept her truth.

When it came to be that my Grandma left this world, I appreciated her prophetic gift. With a short phrase, she expressed a sense of peace with what would be her inevitable fate, and consequently alleviated the ache on the hearts left behind. Death is inescapable. A life is meant to flow into this earth, and eventually ebb back to its unknown origin. The most those left to grieve can hope for is that loved ones are at peace when the retreat comes. The most those taken back can strive for is the successful dispersal of the love they were meant to share, in the time appointed to do it.

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Further Recommendations

Sarge: This is very interesting. But you say that your heroine is 17 years of age. Then you say, "Until she reaches that age..." What age? You need to say which age that is. You might want to set it for the age of majority for the state in which your heroine lives. Some have left 18 as the age of m...

Helloitsemily: I am a girl that gets bored easy so does lots of things at once but this was incredible it made me read all of it and not get bored

N_F_G: This story was fantastic! It was really enjoyable, and the characters and locations felt real to me as I read the story! Celeste was an amazing character, who survived all her struggles, and I felt the author did an excellent job writing about suicide and self harm- in a sensitive, authentic mann...

Ariel: First book from the Author I've read, and am extremely impressed and very much satisfied that this story was a short-story, yet, filled with great writing, fantastic characters, and all I'd like is more, please. Malice, she is my favorite!!

Tomlen Brenda: waouh interesting in deed. I loved every moment ,the writing style and characters. the suspense that exist at the end of every chapter pushes the reader to go deeper.feels like I was watching a movie.keep up more grace!

Dessie Williams: I read the first book and now this one, they both are really good stories. love the characters,. loved painting the story in my head, the ending was awesome. Hope the series continue . Great job .... You Rock!!!

More Recommendations

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., ,,.,,,,,

sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real.Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.

deee_ro: Read this book in a couple of sittings and have kept it!!! Not one to read books again, but the story, the atmosphere, the descriptions, the humour, all right up my Blackpool street. Very cleverly written, sets the scene from the start, love how you get to really know the characters, must've look...

Riskaninda Maharani: This story told about love between Christopher Schlösser (a German) and Anggia Selestina (an Indonesian) that happened in Düsseldorf, Germany in an autumn. The German autumn which was so different with the autumn in the other four season countries, especially in Anggia's eyes when her heart-movin...

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