She Only Speaks to Butterflies

She Only Speaks to Butterflies by Sandy Appleyard Page A

Book: She Only Speaks to Butterflies by Sandy Appleyard Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sandy Appleyard
trouble was a true testament to her independence. Mandy closed commenting on how her mother actually sold all her prized possessions over the years to try to keep afloat, making it clear why she had next to nothing left at her passing.
    After the service, Reverend Telly invited everyone to stay for refreshments. “I better go see how momma and daddy are doin’ with Denise.” Sherry excused herself down the right side of the church to avoid disturbing the others filing down the center aisle. She walked into the Sunday school room. Denise was at the reading center. Gertrude was reading her a story while Kenny perused the children’s drawings pinned to the walls.
    “How’d it go?” Kenny asked. “Is it over?”
    “Yeah,” she sighed. “Everythin’ alright in here?”
    “Oh yeah. Momma’s been readin’ to her and she showed me all the pictures she’s drawn.”
    As people started filing into the hallway, helping themselves to refreshments, suddenly Lee appeared. “Excuse me.” He cleared his throat. “I think your little one might have lost this at the hall yesterday.”
    He handed Sherry Denise’s purple butterfly key ring. Sherry’s eyes widened with delight. “Oh, thank you so much. She was cryin’ and so upset about it.” She looked at it and handed it to Denise, who was at her side in a beat. “That’s very kind of you, Lee. Thank you.”
    Denise stared at the key ring and then at Lee.
    “It’s no problem, ma’am,” Lee smiled. “There was only one other little girl there, and she said it wasn’t hers. I didn’t think it belonged to any of the older boys. Not many boys like butterflies,” he chuckled under his breath. “I’m an exception.”
    “You like butterflies?” Sherry was intrigued. “Have you been to see Ned’s conservatory?”
    Lee’s expression was that of a child’s who had just been offered his favorite ice cream sundae. “Oh yes, ma’am, it’s beautiful. I love it. There was one just like that in the zoo where I lived as a boy.”
    “Oh yeah?” she asked. “Where did you grow up?”
    “Texas, ma’am.”
    “Which part?” Kenny was suddenly interested. “I came from Dallas.”
    “Fort Worth, actually,” Lee blushed. “Not far from there.”
    Kenny offered him a handshake. “Nice to meet ya. Kenny Porter.” He gestured to Gertrude. “This is my wife, Gertrude. But we all call her Gertie.”
    “Pleasure, ma’am.” He gave Gertrude’s hand a gentle pump.
    “Well, I best be going,” Lee said, backing away and waving.
    “Wait a minute.” Sherry looked down at Denise. “Wave thank ya to Lee, honey.”
    Denise, who had been staring at Lee the whole time, released her mother’s waist. She ran to Lee, embracing his middle. He was so taken aback by her show of affection that he bent down slowly, holding his arms out. “Oh, darlin’, my cup runeth over.” he said, hugging her gently.
    Sherry hands covered her mouth in shock. Glancing over, Lee noticed her expression. “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am.” He carefully released Denise. “Was that too much?”
    Putting her hands out in front of her, Sherry refuted. “Oh…no, no. Not at all.” She grinned. “She usually...” Sherry swallowed. “She usually doesn’t react like that.”
    Lee nodded, not sure what to say. “I’ll see ya later.”
    “Yes. And thank you again.”
    “My pleasure,” he winked.
    “Nice man,” Kenny commented.
    “Of course,” Gertrude agreed. “I never met a Texan man who wan’t nice.”
     
    Chapter 10
     
    “Gosh, Leon, what’re ya doin’ to me?” Sherry said to herself, looking at all the boxes of summer clothes piled up in the storage area. “It’s gonna take me a week to get these things priced.”
    Leon suddenly appeared in the back room with Sherry. “I need yer help out here. Lina just walked in and she’s not lookin’ too kindly at me.”
    Sherry’s face dropped.
    “What?”
    “Do you not see all these dresses? I’ll be here for a week! Why didn’t

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