Serena, I remember when you won the pair of purple boots. You were so thrilled. You used to win everything you entered, though in the end, you lost your life. You had an eventful life, and some parts of it were bitterly unfair. You found comfort in butterflies. They were your totem, fluttering about whenever we walked or sat at the park. I gave you a purple butterfly mobile on your last birthday.
Every year we did the Challenge Walk together, me complaining as we reached the peak which held a painted blue tree. Dead, yet alive. You would laugh, and point to the wrong flag, convincing me that I had done more km’s than I had. I fell for it every time. 2014 was to be our last year together on the walk. If I had known that, I would have hugged you tighter upon meeting, shouted you lunch afterward and organized a band. This year, one of our beautiful friend’s and her girls joined us. We acutely felt your absence, and I kept looking for you. So many women with cedar hair looked like you from the back. The girls and I chatted, and we laughed. We fell silent and then talk turned to you. We were followed by butterflies the whole 6km’s. I wanted to cry, and scream at the unfairness of a young woman leaving this earth halfway through her life. I did so inside my mind; silently, respectfully. As long as butterflies remain in the world, so shall you. I anticipate bumping into you wherever I go. Instead, I am surrounded by butterflies and memories. I signed up for 12km’s by accident. You would have found that hysterically funny. When the time came to continue on, or pull out, I hid my registration details under the bag I was carrying, so I wouldn’t be forced to go around again. I had seen my butterflies and that was enough.