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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

Jamesbond007mi6: Good till now either way I m just hoping for a simplified happy ending..... Hope it gets there

ary_piper: Love this book so much!! Kudos to author!! This book just make me smile the entire time while reading it.. non cliche, no dragging, short but full of emotions, and nothing but sweet like a cotton candy..I love it sooooo much n this book will definitely be on my repeat mode section... im going to ...

Elle: It is truly an awe-inspiring novel that was very captivating and refreshing for me to read all night long till just now, I want to compliment the author on this beautiful book it is without a doubt the best book I’ve read in a long time with each character portrayed in the most realistic way poss...

Nakisha: Omg Great story, couldn't put it down!

Nika Love: Words can’t Describe how good this book is...🤣🤣

Marcy: You are nothing but a brilliant writer. You know how to get people's attention. I love reading this book I can't wait for the update. I hope their will be more soon. Can't get enough of your book's thanks soon mich for the time you put in these book's.

Hasnida Naidoo: I wish i knew what to say to encourage you to continue but honedtly all I can say is to continue writing if it really is your passion ......................

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