The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane

Book: The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochrane Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mick Cochrane
Johnston slinking away from the board looking crestfallen. She didn't much like him, but she couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Forthe boys, being on the team was connected to who they were. Were they somebody or not? It meant that much. To Molly, it meant something, too; it meant a lot, but some-thing different.
    Meanwhile she watched little Eli Krause, red-haired and freckled, who was a good kid and could run like the wind, but just was not much of a hitter. Molly figured he'd been doomed from the first day they took batting practice. Eli worked his way through the crowd, got close enough to the board, and then suddenly jumped in the air. It was like he'd been shot with electricity. He turned and Molly saw his face. Such a grin! His neck and cheeks were bright red with excitement. Even his hair looked happy.
    Lloyd Coleman was standing there, arms folded across his chest, the picture of self-satisfaction.
Yeah, I made the team,
his posture said.
Was there ever any doubt?
Nearby, Desmond Davis gave a sly five on the side to his friend James Castle, another sure bet. They were in, and Molly couldn't blame them for being glad.
    Molly felt her heart beating in her chest. So, yes, she had told Celia the truth. She wanted it, she wanted it bad. One Zen book did not rid her of all desire.
    She approached the board, and the boys there made room for her. The list was typed, the names in all caps, alphabetically arranged. Molly scanned it, top to bottom. Halfway down, she saw Lonnie's name. So Lonnie made the team! No matter what, even if she got cut, Molly was happy for him. Where was he? Maybe he was counting on her to find out and break the news.
    She took a deep breath and then looked. There it was,at the very bottom of the list, the very last name: Molly Williams. She felt tears in her eyes. There were people looking at her, but she didn't care.
    Molly stepped into the nearest rest room and closed her-self in a stall. She wanted to see Lonnie and give him a high five, and she wanted to tell Celia, too. Her lucky stone must have worked its magic. But right now she wanted to be alone for just a moment. To let the news sink in.
    So, this one time anyway, Molly got what she wanted. She couldn't help but wonder,
Now what? What does it mean to be a part of this team?
Time would tell.
    She remembered that night out in the backyard when it came into her head to try baseball. She could still see that magical knuckleball floating through the night sky. She thought about Jackie Mitchell, who struck out Babe Ruth and then got banned from baseball for being a woman. Molly imagined that she would be pleased. And she thought about her mother, who thought she was on the girls’ softball team. She would probably think Molly had lost her mind.
    She wondered what her dad would have said. Now she would give almost anything just to hear his voice. Like every kid, Molly had always thought her parents’ words were endless, infinite. They were drops of water in the ocean. However many flooded over you, there were always more where those came from, right?
    But the ocean only seems bottomless, the sky only appears endless. Her father's words had been finite. There had only been so many, and then, no more. There was an end, a last, and then, never again. That was what mortality meant, what she never could have imagined.
    What would her dad have said? It grieved her that now she would have to figure it out for herself. Maybe that was the message of her dream, the meaning of his silence. If he was going to speak, she would have to put words in his mouth.
    So be it. Okay. She could do this. After a certain point, every kid knows what his parents are going to say. It's what makes them so exasperating—and lovable, too.
    Molly,
her dad would say,
you done good.
It was how he could be proud but not full of hot air, not embarrassing. He would smile then, that slow, lopsided smile of his. Was
that
what she wanted most of all? To put a smile on her sad dad's

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