He called me 'Butterfly' twice in the entire time I knew him.
The first time, I was freshly 19, still naive but hardened by his love from before.
He still tasted of hard liqour, cigarette smoke, and bonfire against my tongue. He was still a quiet but generous lover, making me come unraveled in a way that only one man has been able to since.
Rough touches of calloused hands, but sweet eyes, constantly reassuring. He taught me how it felt to have someone know they could break me, but not want to. Our age difference was always a boulder in the way, but there was always the unspoken air there that said that we both knew we were old souls, determined to find each other regardless.
He had pulled up his boxers, sideways grin across his face, eyes sparkling and hands shaking. Lighting a cigarette, watching me re-dress myself, the word tumbled over his lips, so soft that I almost didn't hear it at first.
"What?" a gentle laugh fell from my mouth, eyes questioning.
"You're my butterfly. You'll always fly back to me."

The second and last time was on the pier, the week before he died.
Sprawling out his long, preying mantis like legs, he leaned back on his arms and looked over at me next to him. His face was marred by worry lines and there was a faint look of melencholy in his eyes now. More noticible than it had been when we both were young and in love. He spoke of death frankly, telling me of the noose he had learned to make. I was still so young and untouched that I didn't want to hear it. I couldn't hear it. He was as permanent in my life as the wooden planks beneath our feet. He couldn't be temporary. He couldn't be so fragile. Hair in his face and that all so familiar grin creeping up on his face, the words fell down against the water smoothly. So many years had passed but it was just as genuine and so very much...him.
"You'll always be my butterfly."

The End

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