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Like a Moth to a Flame

By Bethany Grzesiak All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Drama


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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David Ramati: An unusual story, well worth reading. Good conversations, excellent prose, and keeps my interest, maybe because I was there, back in the day. You won't be able to pt this book down.

jaihov: I love the book, and I know that you didn't mean to offend, and you didn't, but my best friends name is Ireland. She was actually named after the castle called the Luttrell in Ireland. Her full name is Ireland Luttrell. Just thought it was funny because the main character thought that it was such...

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...

William Elliott Kern: Whew. one telling his story, in the Bar, to his friend, who questions some circumstances that need clarity, The Confusion comes from a man, carrying his dead friend Chappies, while conversing with himself, and Chappies, and his alter ego......a broken mind, not yet forgotten..........The Author ...

Mary Abigail: I have always been a serious reader but reading romance has always been an outlet for me to be happy and this, makes me happy. It's entertaining with just enough drama and maybe a bit more - I do need more.

Ashley Kimler: I love the drama and the darkness of this story. Sadly, I was distracted my editorial errors and couldn't delve into it. The grammar mistakes kept me from being able to forget where I was and immerse in the story. If not for that, I think I would have given this chapter 5 stars. My advice to the ...

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!!!

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