OOM: Cocoon

Jan. 6th, 2008 10:36 pm
argyle_princess: (won't look down (eyes ahead))
[personal profile] argyle_princess


Hannah rarely opens the bottom drawer of her dresser; it's where she stores the things she only wears occasionally. It's open tonight because it's got her few pieces of truly cold weather clothes in it, and she needs to pack them for tomorrow's trip to Colorado.

As a general rule, Hannah does not pack at the last minute, but the past few days, a holiday week of constant shuffling between parents' homes, has resulted in almost everything getting done at the last minute, and quickly.

When she picks up the heavy purple turtleneck sweater she bought in Vermont, she also manages to pick up the edge of the plain cotton fabric below it. And because she's rushing, she doesn't notice until she's lifted both out of the drawer.

The cotton unfolds and the things it was wrapped around -- a pink and blue and gold shawl and a length of green ribbon -- fall on the floor.

Hannah picks it up, sitting down on the edge of her bed, setting the shawl in her lap and smoothing her hands across the silk. It's been months since she's seen it, and longer than that since she's worn it. Hannah traces the outline of one of the the butterfly's wings, and then lifts it to her cheek.

It still smells faintly of the perfume she wore to the Winter Formal last year -- jasmine, a scent she replaced in early fall with mandarin. She couldn't have said exactly why; it had just seemed to be time for a change.

Hannah settles the shawl around her shoulders, wraps it tightly around her arms, her hands hidden in the fold.

She wonders what, if anything, she would say to the girl who'd worn it to go dancing not quite a year ago, if she could. Probably nothing, she decides. She really wouldn't change things, and no warning could quite have prepared her for everything that's happened since she first unwrapped that shawl.

It seems to her that she sits like that for a long time -- hours, maybe days. The clock on her bedside table, however, ticks off only 23 minutes. And then there's a knock on her door, and her mother says, "Hannah?" and Hannah stands up, and starts to refold the shawl before she says, "Come in."

"Everything okay?" Steph asks, looking at the half-filled suitcase and the purple sweater in the floor.

"Yeah," says Hannah. "Everything's fine."

Her mother lifts the trailing edge of the now mostly refolded shawl. "A little dressy for skiing, don't you think?" she asks, lightly.

"A little," Hannah agrees, putting it carefully back in its cotton wrapping and then back into the bottom drawer. "Have you seen my gloves anywhere?" she asks, to change the subject, despite the fact that her gloves are at the bottom of her suitcase already.

It will, she suspects, be a while before those butterflies emerge from their cotton cocoon again. And, when they do, she'll smile, and throw them around her shoulders, and go out into the world she lives in.
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Hannah Griffith

June 2009

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