Such sweet sorrow

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‘Such Sweet Sorrow’ on hiatus!

Published December 13, 2009 by ladyserenity92

For the fans of ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’ that hoped for a new chapter of the novel; I have some news to break to you, guys! After months of posting my novel, I have decided to put my novel on hiatus indefinitely. I’m sorry that there won’t be another chapter anytime soon. I’m in the middle of rapping up the novel. I’ll keep you posted!

Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow(Chap.13)

Published November 27, 2009 by ladyserenity92

  Dear Butterfly,

The first time I met you, I knew from that you were the one that would be my one best friend forever. I thought that we would always be close like sister and grow up together. I now know the truth and came to terms that we can never be friends. Don’t think just because I can’t be your friend, doesn’t mean that I hate you; it’s just for some reason we can’t be close to each other.

It’s so unfair that I must stop being the friend that you’ve come to love. I enjoy the time that I spent with you and your family. I like you so much, my dearest Butterfly; it’s just that I can’t be your friend. Why would a poor, wretched girl like me deserve to be your friend? I don’t hate you, Butterfly. Please forgive me for cutting our friendship so short.

You have a wonderful free-spirit, and a strong-will that is unbreakable. I hope no one in this world takes away your freedom to live your life. I’m sorry for being weak, Sweetie. I wish I was like you, I wish I could have your life. When you read this letter, don’t come to visit me; I won’t be there. I’ve given you, T.R. and Jordan a few things to remember me by.

Sweet, Butterfly, I shall always remember you for your smile and your heart. I’ll never hold you in my arms again or hold your sweet angelic face. I will never again read the books in my room or greet Mr. Quidame and drink hot chocolate with him on a winter’s day. What I’ll miss is my brother’s sense of humor and my parents’ sweet kisses and hugs.

See you at the crossroads, my Butterfly. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Goodnight.

Anna Knight

Anna’s letter sent a chill through my body. The letter was creepy to the core. It wasn’t like Anna to write a letter that was frightening. Daddy stepped inside my room and  came over to my bed.

“Butterfly, it’s late,” Daddy said, “it’s time for bed.”

“Daddy, I—“ I stammered.

 Daddy took the letter from my hands. “Butterfly, please go to bed. You can tell me what’s on your mind in the morning.”

I obeyed Daddy as he went out the door with my letter. I removed my shoes, socks and clothes. I snuggled under the cover, and went to sleep. In the dawn, I was haunted by Anna’s letter.

Cousin Ray called me from upstairs. By my cousin’s tone, it was an important matter he wanted to ask me about. I finished taking a shower and was getting dressed into a pair of new clothes. I rushed downstairs to see what my cousin wanted. I got to the den and I saw Vladimir standing next to Cousin Ray and Daddy. Daddy was holding Anna’s letter in his hand. Vladimir was shaking, trying not to cry. Cousin Ray was comforting him. Cousin Ray turned to me and started to speak.

“Butterfly,” he began, “something happened to Anna. She’s gone missing.

“Missing? What do you mean?” I responded, alarmed.

Vladimir spoke up for my cousin, “my sister’s missing. I woke up this morning to go to work. I went to check up on my sister. I opened the door calling her name, thinking she was still in bed. I went inside and her bed was made up and there were boxes full of her things and a note with instructions on which boxes to give away to whom. You know Anna, so I came over to ask if you can help me find her. I mean, Anna’s a good kid. She would never run away. If I had something to do to make her run away… oh God!”

Vladimir broke down and sobbed. He got a hold of himself and continued. “Anna’s my only sister. Our parents are overseas in a war and I had been working and had been too busy to spend time with her. She has no one to turn to. I’ve been fighting with her a lot and she took it hard.”

“Don’t worry, Vladimir. I’m sure your sister will come back home.” Cousin Ray told him. “We’ll find her.”

Miss Carla gave Vladimir a glass of water as Daddy handed Cousin Ray Anna’s letter. Cousin Ray read the letter twice and began making plans to find Anna. T.R. and Jordan had a worried look posted on their faces. I sat between them on the couch.

“Don’t worry, Anna will be alright,” I told them. “She just went out somewhere to chill. She’ll be back safe and sound.” I hugged T.R. and Jordan, praying that Anna will return home.

That afternoon Cousin Ray began the search to look for Anna. Cousin Ray and Vladimir rode their bikes and search around the neighborhood. An hour went by. Cousin Ray and Vladimir returned back to the house, empty-handed.

“We looked everywhere for her,” Vladimir said, “we asked everybody if they seen her, but no one hasn’t seen her all morning.”

Cousin Ray added, “I know Anna so much. It isn’t like her to run away like this. I don’t know what would possess her to leave.”

As Anna’s disappearance started to unravel, Vladimir gave a revelation on why Anna would run away. Two years ago Anna’s parents moved to Orangeburg to get away from the city. Anna didn’t want to go with them, saying that the city had more choices to offer, and that she didn’t want to leave school. For some reason, they made Anna go with them when she had relatives that she could stay with. Ever since they moved here, Anna was unhappy and depressed. Anna often wrote poems about wanting to go into a deep sleep and never wanting to wake up.

It was in the same words of the letter that Anna had written. A chilling image flashed into my mind on where Anna was.

“We have to get to the mansion,” I cried, “I know Anna went there! We have to go!”

“Let’s go!” Cousin Ray said, rushing out the door. Vladimir and I rushed out the door behind Cousin Ray. We hopped into Cousin Ray’s car and drove like mad to the mansion. Although I was not the most religious teenager in America, I was praying to God that we would find Anna inside. Anna would be there on the front porch swing, eating a peach and smiling. Or she would be swinging on the swing on the magnolia branch.

We got to the mansion and jumped out of the car. Cousin Ray opened the front gate and went through the yard. Vladimir called, “Anna! Anna Knight!” As we walked around to the back yard, I saw the magnolia tree where the swing was. Cousin Ray went to the tree and stood dead at what he saw. Vladimir and I saw that the rope on the swing had been cut off.

“My sister might be inside,” Vladimir pointed out.

We called out Anna’s name loud as we could.

Anna! Anna! Anna Knight!

Cousin Ray broke through the back door and led us inside. We searched inside the mansion looking for Anna. I went over to the stairwell and started going slowly up the steps. “Anna?” I called softly. “Are you up there?” I went upward on the steps until I came to the top. I trotted down the hallway, until I came to the door in front of me. “Anna?” I answered once more. I placed my hand on the doorknob and gave it a half-turn. I pushed the door opened and stepped inside.

In the room there was a smell of fresh death lingering in the air. I heard the buzzing of flies feasting on a dish of the rotting feast. I looked upward and saw the body of a young girl hanging on the beam of the ceiling. The girl was in her pajamas and had her red hair cut short. Her body was facing the window that had sunlight shinning from the outside. I knew at the moment who the girl was. My heart fell all the way to the floor.

“Nooo! No! Oh, God! Anna!” I was screaming and crying, thinking  it was just a bad dream. Cousin Ray and Vladimir burst into the room where I was and were horrified at the same thing that I saw. Vladimir sobbed and cried out in vain. Cousin Ray spotted a knife on the floor that Anna used to cut the rope on the swing. Cousin Ray picked up the knife and set the chair upward. My cousin tried hard not to cry, although the tears were rolling down on his face.

Cousin Ray stood up on the chair and began cutting the rope.

To be continued/Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap.4)

Published April 11, 2009 by ladyserenity92

After the hugs, kisses, playful slugs and tussling of the hair, Cousin Ray introduced us to Miss Carla. Miss Carla was Cousin Ray’s housekeeper. Miss Carla had brown mocha hair and sun-kissed skin. She was plump and had a mole on her left cheek. Miss Carla looked at us ans smiled warmly.

“Hello, children,” she replied. Without a second guess, we knew that Miss Carla was Hispanic. But something in her tone told us kids that although we were guest in Cousin Ray’s house, Miss Carla would not tolerate any nonsense in the house. Miss Carla set an example of a mother-figure.

As I looked around the house, I felt something rubbing against my leg. It was summer, so I was wearing a skirot* that showed off my long legs. I looked down and saw a small gray tabby kitten. I bent down and starched its ears. The kitten mewed with glee as I picked it up. Jordan and T.R. wanted to play with the kitten. I handed the kitten over to them.

T.R. was smiling with delight with the kitten in her arms. “Who are you, Cutie Pie?” she asked. “You’re so cute. I wish I could take you home with me. We have a dog with us, she’ll like you.” My sister loved animals. Cousin Ray joined us to play with the kitten.

“I’ve seen Smokie came to greet you.” Cousin Ray said. Cousin Ray petted her and went on, “I’ve got her from the animal shelter yesterday. She’s such a sweetheart, aren’t you girl?”

I’d give my soul to have a kitten just like Smokie. Her smoke-gray fur and her shinny, saphire–blue eyes; Smokie was uber-cute. Potato would kill me if I held her too long. I gave Smokie back to Ray.

“Yo, I need help with these bags!” Daddy called.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take Smokie,” Miss Carla told Cousin Ray. Cousin Ray handed Smokie over to Miss Carla. Leaving Miss Carla and Smokie, we went to help Daddy with the bags.


Cousin Ray showed me upstairs to my bedroom. The room was next to T.R. and Jordan’s room, and under the attic. The house had four bedrooms. On such a short notice, Cousin Ray had to fit four extra people who were staying the month. I was fortunate to get a bedroom of my own.

When Cousin Ray and I were inside, I went over to the bed and sat down. The bed was brass and very soft. It was so soft that I felt sleepy sitting down.

Cousin Ray asked,  “Is everything alright, honey?”

“Why do you always call me ‘honey’ ?” I asked him.

Cousin Ray took a moment to answer my question. He found his answer.

“Ever since I met you, you showed me that you are a sweet and good girl. Every time I see your picture, I’ve always dreamt of having a little girl just like you. That’s why I call you ‘honey’.”

“That makes sense.”

“I’ll be downstairs. Let me know if you need anything.”

“Sure. Thanks.”

After Cousin Ray walked out, I lay back on the bed and gazed up at the ceiling. I thought about what Cousin Ray’s words about calling me ‘honey’. I decided to explore the house. I got up and went out the door. I sunk down the steps and looked around to see if anybody was watching me. When the coast was clear, I went to the kitchen. Miss Carla was making lunch. I went out of the kitchen and headed to the door of the basement.

I looked around to see if anyone was watching me. When no one wasn’t watching, I quietly opened the door and went down the steps. I liked looking around places like basements. I reached the bottom and was surprised at what I saw. Ray had an office. Just like an office, there was a desk with a laptop, a bookshelf filled with books, and two college degrees mounted on the wall.

Something on Cousin Ray’s desk caught my attention. I walked over to the desk and saw a picture of Cousin Ray and me. As I saw the picture, it took me back to the day of Cousin Ray’s visit. I picked up the picture and studied the look on Cousin Ray’s face. Besides not liking to have his picture taken, Cousin Ray doesn’t like to smile when his picture is taken. My cousin was very shy and blushed easily when he’s with women, some men, and children. I saw the reddening glow on his face in the picture. I studied the picture for a few more seconds before placing it back down.

“I’ve always loved that picture of us.” A voice spoke gently behind me.

I turned around and was faced with Cousin Ray. He wasn’t too happy of me down in the basement.

“Hi.” he said.

“Oh, Ray. I didn’t know you was behind me.” I said, acting dumb.

“What are you doing down here?”

Once again, I played innocent. “I was just looking around. Wow, you have a cool office. Is your desk cherry or oak wood. Let me guess, you got it from IKEA? IKEA has a lot of cool stuff.”

Cousin Ray saw through my act and placed his forefinger and thumb to the bridge of his nose. Cousin Ray sighed as he shook his head. Cousin Ray then folded his arms across his chest and got to the point.

“You have no business sneaking around in my office,” he said tersely. “I’ll let it go this time; just don’t do it again. You’re sixteen, you should know better. Let’s go.”

Cousin Ray took me by the hand and escorted me up the steps. Along the way, he leaned over and softly whispered in my ear, “I bet all of the angels are jealous of you, because you are the most beautiful girl on Earth.”

I chuckled as we went out the door. I could not believe that Cousin Ray had just hit on me. It was one of many uncanny things that would happen to me and my family during our stay.


That morning the perdition that I made about Potato would become friends with Smokie had come true. When I brought Potato inside, she saw Smokie and ran to her. I thought that Potato would hurt Smokie when she got to her. But I was stun when Potato got to Smokie and became friends with her. Potato was licking Smokie’s face and playing with her. The stories about cats and dogs being enemies were bull-garbage. Potato and Smokie were friends like an ant and a grasshopper.

They were playing outside in the front yard with T.R. and Jordan as I watched from the sidelines on the porch. A voice echoed in my head with a quote: ‘People come and go. But a friend will never leave your heart.’

It was when a girl with some books walked up to me.

“Welcome to our neighborhood,” she said. “I’m Anna Knight. My brother Vladimir is at work. We’re Mr. Ray’s neighbors.”

The girl was Caucasian with a tan. Her strawberry-blond hair was tried in two braids with green ribbons. She wore a Gothic Lolita-styled dress and black platforms. My friends and I were into the Lolita/Goth-fashion craze. It was the first time that a girl dressed up in the style would walk out in the open and represent herself to me without a second thought on what people thought.

“I want to give you some books as a gift,” the girl said. “Some of them I don’t need and some that I wrote.” As Anna Knight handed me the books, I wanted to know more about her.

I asked her, “How old are you?”

“Fifteen. And you?”


“I see your brother and sister with Mr. Ray’s cat and a dog. Is the dog yours?”

“Yes. Her name’s Potato; the boy and girl playing with the cat and the dog are my brother and sister. My sister’s name is T.R. and my brother’s name is Jordan. I love them, but sometimes they drives me nuts.”

Anna laughed at what I said.

“My brother and I are like that sometimes. We do it because we love each other. My brother and I are like cake and milk. I’m my brother’s only sister and my brother’s my only brother. Both our parents are in the Army in Iraq, so It’s just us now.”

T.R. and Jordan saw Anna. They waved and called ‘hello’ to her. Anna waved back and echoed the greeting. I noticed the smoke coming out the window at her house.

“There’s something on fire at your house,” I told her.

“Holy Yaba Gaba! The casserole! I forgot all about it.”

Anna dashed for her house. I remembered the books she gave me.

“Thank you!” I called.

“I’ll see you later!” Anna called once more.

Without saying goodbye, Anna disappeared into her house.


* A skirt/shorts


To Be Continued/Stayed Tuned 

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap. 3 strach note)

Published January 30, 2009 by ladyserenity92

This is the last entry to my novel. Don’t fret, though! I will have the full novel publish in 2-4 months. Stayed tuned!


That night my kid brother Jordan was in my bedroom, watching me pack my suitcase. In the middle of  packing, my brother began the conversation.

“So, Sissy, you’re gonna carry all that stuff in your suitecase?” he asked.

I joked, “Well, what’s it to you.”

Jordan always wanted to know what I was doing. He wasn’t nosy; just curious. Most seven year olds are like that. They ask questions and try to take things apart and put them together again like a puzzle. One thing odd about my brother was that he always carried an autograph picture of Michiko Kaku with him all the time. He won the picture when he called the guy’s radio show and answered a science question. Jordan loves science.

As I finished packing my suitcase, Jordan stood up from my bed, grabbed his picture, and went out the door. My dog Potato followed him. Before Potato went out, I scooped her up and gave her a smooch on her nose. Potato returned the kiss right on my cheek.

At dinner, Momma reminded us kids that tomorrow morning was the day that we would be leaving for Orageburg. On the last night, my family and I had an early dinner. We had a cold meal since it was too hot to cook. We had a smorgasbord of cold cuts, cheese, tomatoes; boiled eggs, bread and iced tea.

After dinner, we watched a movie on TV. I didn’t care too much about the movie, so I sat there with my family just to be close to them. My daddy’s French-Anglo and my momma’s Black-Native American. My parent’s married when they graduated from college. My daddy was a yuppie and my momma was a penny-grabber. Momma had to work  hard in order to get to college and win my daddy’s heart.

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap. 2)

Published January 16, 2009 by ladyserenity92

For nine years I wrote Cousin Ray over 300 letters and sent them to his home in Orangeburg, South Carolina. When the mail comes to our apartment mail box, I look in the mail, hoping that my cousin’s letter is inside. Each day that no letter from my cousin came, I am heartbroken.

One spring day, I had a cold and chest pains. Momma took me to a doctor to have me examined. The doctor diagnosed me as having a broken heart. Since my illness was psychological, the doctor told me that I need exercise, healthy food, activity and plenty of bed rest. During my activity time, I draw and paint; and I also play the piano and guitar. I sing the songs that I wrote for my brother Jordan and sister T.R. The song that Jordan and T.R. loved to hear me play and sing was the song that Cousin Ray once sang to me a long time ago when I was a kid called ‘Such Sweet Sorrow’. They loved the way I sang the lyrics to the song. I knew the lyrics and notes by heart.

When summer break came, I was mixed with mixed emotions. On summer break, I usually find a good paying  job to earn extra money for college and Christmas shopping. Last year, New York entered into a recession. As a result, I couldn’t find a job that would hire me. The recession not only hit the residents in New York, but everyone in Harlem as well as me and my family.

My parents had to skim back on a lot of things like the cable, eating out; even the weekly allowance that my siblings and I get were cut out and replaced with what our parents could offer us in place of the cash money. My family had to cut back on almost everything. The good thing about my family cutting back and living in the times of a recession was that my family and I had family nights, pot luck dinners; On family nights, I played my guitar and the piano and sang for my family (and a few guest.)

After the music, my family, our guest and I had dinner that my momma and my sister T.R. made. T.R. is a great cook. She’s known to put her sweat and heart into her cooking. After dinner, we often go to the den and watch movies. We do a lot together on family night.

With the summer on the other hand, we had to cut back on our trips as well. During the summer, Momma and Daddy would take T.R., Jordan and me to the amusement parks, New Jersey or Vermont. Since money was tight, Daddy deiced where to take us on our vacation that summer.

“We’re going to South Carolina to visit Cousin Ray.” Daddy announced during family night.

My brother and sister were upset by the news.

“Jordan and I have summer school,” T.R. told Daddy.

Daddy looked at T.R. through his glasses. “I know, Angel Pie. But it’s just that we haven’t seen your cousin in nine years. I know that you and your brother have summer school, and you guys don’t know your cousin that much—”

“I don’t want to know him!” T.R. snapped. She got up off of the couch and went to her room.

T.R. was like most 10-year old sandwich kids. She was bullheaded and hot-tempered. I couldn’t blame my sister for having a bull’s spirit within her. She didn’t know Cousin Ray physically. All she knew about him was that one picture that was on my vanity drawer. In my heart, my sister was afraid of Ray. I excused myself from the den and headed toward my sister’s room.

When I came to my sister’s door, I rapped gently.

“Hello?”  T.R. Answered.

My response was, “Elric’s watch.” * 

“Come in.”

I turned the doorknob and walked in. T.R. didn’t let anyone in her room without saying the password. As I entered her room, I spotted my black pug Potato resting on the rug. Potato was my dog, but she often slept with my sister or brother and only came to me when she needed me. Potato liked my sister T.R. the most. T.R. would always let her into her room.

I saw T.R. lying on her side on her bed. I crept over to her and called her name. When I got to my sister, I placed my hand on her side.

“You really didn’t have to acted up like that, Tokyo Rose,” I told her. I called my sister by her full name when I had something important to tell her or whenever I was upset or disappointed in her . T.R. sat up as I sat down next to her.

“It’s not fair,” T.R. spoke softly, “We don’t even know Cousin Ray. What if he’s mean and doesn’t like us?”

“Cousin Ray is a nice man, T.R., ” I said. “When Cousin Ray visited us, you were in Momma’s belly. When Cousin Ray sang and strung his guitar, you would dance inside Momma to the music. Even when you were at the hospital with Momma in her arms, I sang you songs that Cousin Ray sang when he stayed with us.”

T.R. turned her gaze to mine and beamed her smile at me. I loved my little sister’s smile.

“Just give Cousin Ray a chance,” I added, “he’s real nice. They’ll  be more summer schools in your life, but not cousins. Cousins are rare nowadays. Don’t think that you and Jordan won’t see summer school, there’s always next summer.”

T.R. hugged me in her arms. I mirrored the embraced.

“You know, I think I’ll love Cousin Ray,” T.R. told me softly.

“I know you will and Jordan, too.”  I replied.

*FullMetal Alchemist Slant

To be Continued/Stayed Tuned

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap. 1)

Published January 9, 2009 by ladyserenity92

    I have a story that I want to share with you. Every time I tell someone my story, I always end up crying, because the story is very heartbreaking. I don’t want to tell you my story; if I don’t, then my story will be forgotten. The story is about a man and I and how we were in love during the summer in Orangeburg, South Carolina. During that summer of last year, we were always together. We were so much in love with each other, we slept together unexpectedly.
  Although we don’t see each other that often, we send each other letters and visit each others blogs and Facebook pages just to keep in touch. And we always talk on the phone a lot. In the sixteen years of my life, I have been taught about love and its lesson that came with it. One of those lessons came to me so unexpected that I didn’t know that it would hit me.

   That lesson was: you should never fall in love with our own relative. Even if that relative you fall in love with is your very own cousin. Here is my story.


  It was the spring of 1999 that I first met Ray Quidame. I was seven years old and had just came home from school. As I entered the apartment, I noticed a pair of suitcases and a guitar by the couch.  I was enchanted by the guitar, when I heard sounds of laughter from the kitchen. The laughter was that of my parents; but there was another laughter that was so musical that it blended with the laughter of my parents.

   I strolled into the kitchen and was surprised by the guest sandwiched between my parents at the table. The guest was a White man in a gray suit. He wore glasses and had clean-cut hair that was the color of Pepsi cola. His eyes were angelic blue that made you weak in the knees when you looked into them. He was so lovely like a prince in the fairy tale books that I read. When the stranger glanced his blue eyes my way, I was caught in his enchantment. Momma looked at me, then at the stranger. Momma spoke for me since I was too speechless to speak.

   “Ray, this is my little girl, Sheila, but we call her ‘Butterfly’.” Momma told him. Turning her gaze toward me, Momma introduced me to the stranger.

“Butterfly, this is your cousin, Ray. He’s visiting us for the weekend. Say hello, baby.”

“Hi,” I spoke shyly.

 Cousin Ray inspected me from my brown hair to my red Mary Janes.

“Hello, my honey,” Ray finally spoke. When Cousin Ray said hello, he spoke in a rich, not too deep tone of voice. It was so perfectly pitched that I thought that he was a singer in disguised.

I leaned later from my daddy that Cousin Ray once lived in Canada as a boy and moved to New York at seventeen to study law and become a lawyer. Cousin Ray and I looked at each other, hoping of what to say. But I knew what was in my heart to say. I saw it in my cousin’s eyes as well.

   That night Daddy ordered take-out from an Indian restaurant that was a favorite of ours. Momma was eating slowly since she was pregnant with my sister T.R. In the middle of dinner, Cousin Ray asked my parents if he could play his guitar for us after dinner. Momma told Ray that she didn’t mind him playing.

  After dinner was over, Cousin Ray played his guitar and sang. Both sides now, Yellow Taxi, Dominique; Norwegian Wood, Puff the magic dragon. His voice was so wonderful that I begged for him to play anther song. But Daddy said song or no song; it was past my bed time.

“Come on, Walter, it’s Friday night. Let her stay up just a little longer,” Cousin Ray egged.

“Three songs, then right to bed.” Daddy bargained.

“Deal.” said Ray.

Ray singed My love and The Rose. The last song he played was a song he wrote back in middle school in Canada. He dedicated the song to me, then began to play his guitar and sang:

After the times that we spent together for so long, I decided that I must leave you.

I believe that in order to be free, I have decided that we should be apart.

I love you, but sometimes love has to die like a dying rose.

Though I try to forget about our love, your face is always in my heart.

In my dreams, I’m holding you, when I’m awakened; I realize that you are no longer mine.

Parting is such sweet sorrow that I no longer love you.

Everyday is painful of not being with you, my dear.

I have no sun without you, and your sweet voice are just echoes.

I cry everyday because you’re not with me.

I long to be with you, but it can’t be fulfilled.

I have to realize the sad truth.

Parting is such sweet sorrow that I no longer love you.


As Ray played on, I felt like crying. The last lines Cousin Ray sang broke my heart:

If you see me, please remember our lives together, and remember us.

It’s such sweet sorrow that our love has to end.

   After Cousin Ray finished the song, I wept. Momma held me as she rocked me in her arms. I never cry at most songs, but Cousin Ray’s song was that one song that moved me to tears. After I finished crying, Daddy put me to bed.


    As Daddy tuck me in, I asked him, “Why did Ray sing me that song?” Daddy sat down by my side as I sat up to hear him speak. Daddy took a moment to answer my question.

  “Ray wrote the song for a girl he was in love with back in middle school. Ray was fifteen and the girl was thirteen. They were best friends back in elementary school. Ray was in love with her. One day before spring break, Ray and the girl were sitting under the cherry tree in the school yard. Ray told the girl that he loved her and asked for her to be his wife when they met again as adults in seven years. She would be twenty and Ray would be twenty-two.


  “The girl knew that they were just kids and that she had a whole life ahead of her and she was just too young to get engaged and be married. She declined your cousin’s proposal and wouldn’t even take the gold necklace he’d found for her. It was the best decision that she made to turn down the proposal. Many years later, she became a model and a movie star. They met once in Paris, and then she was gone off to Italy to do a photo shoot. Ray never saw her again. To this day, he still plays the song about the girl he lost as a child. It was the same song that he played for the girl.”

“And Cousin Ray played it for me,” I said. “But why?”

“It’s because you remind me of her.” a voice spoke. I saw Cousin Ray standing under the doorway of my room.

“Alright, time for bed, Bright Eyes,” Daddy said, “you’ll see Ray in the morning.

Daddy gave me a peck on the forehead and clapped off the lights. I told Daddy and Ray goodnight as they left my room. In the darken room, I sang Ray’s song to myself as I drifted off to sleep.


   The next day Cousin Ray asked me out on a play date. Cousin Ray was taking me to Central Park and the zoo.  I wanted to stay home and watch cartoons, but Momma and Daddy made me go with Ray on the ‘play date’.


    The first place Ray took me was Central Park. We walked around the park, rode the carousel and visited the zoo. At the zoo, animals were pairing up and ‘going crazy’. (I finally found out that they were making out.) After the zoo, Cousin Ray took me to a hot dog stand to eat. After the hot dogs, we went to Dylan’s Candy Bar and brought some candy. 

   Down the street, I felt like a princess, with Cousin Ray holding my hand. When we were at the door to my apartment, Ray looked at me with those blue eyes as he lifted up my chin to face him. With his thumb, he traced my birthmark on my face. Every time someone looks at my birthmark on the left side of my face, they often tell me that my birthmark looks like a brown, fuzzy caterpillar resting on my face. That’s how I got the name Butterfly from. 

  The door opened as Ray stopped touching my birthmark. Momma appeared at the door way. “I was just checking on you two,” she responded softly. Cousin Ray replied, “We’re just fine, Phyllis.”

   Before we went home, Cousin Ray and I stopped at a photograph shop. Cousin Ray doesn’t like to have his picture taken, but he wanted to do this just for me. Cousin Ray paid the photographer and led me to the bench in front of the camera. Cousin Ray held my hand my hand as I placed my head on his shoulder.

“Is this your daughter?” the photographer asked Ray.

“My cousin,” Ray corrected.

Before taking our picture, the photographer told us to smile. Cousin Ray and I smiled as the lady pressed off the shutter button.

   The next day it rained. The downpour was so hard that I thought that the earth would flood over. I spotted a large, white envelope, a bouquet of daisies and a card on my desk. I hopped out of bed and dashed over to my desk. I picked the card off my desk. The card was a Victorian styled picture of a dog on a train, waving goodbye to a cat outside.

I opened the card and read the words my cousin wrote:


I’m sorry that I couldn’t say goodbye to you in person, so I have to say it in this card. I’m so happy that I got to meet you and spend some time with you. I am saddened that I may never meet you again. My dearest cousin, I have seen the art work you have creative by your own hands. I didn’t know that you were an artist. I’m an artist myself. I not only an artist, but I also write in my spare time. We both have a calling to become artist; when I do my craft, I’ll think of you. I have to go. Please take these three gifts as a token of my love. I hope to see you again someday. Please take care of yourself, your parents and your unborn sister when she comes into this world.

Your Beloved Cousin,

Raymond Quidame

   I opened the envelope and pulled out the frame that had the photo of my cousin and me inside the glass cover. When I saw Cousin Ray’s smile, it melt my heart. I kiss the frame and embraced it to my heart. I cried because I never got to say thank you to my cousin. I thought about Cousin Ray as my tears fell onto the frame.





To Be Continued/ Stayed tuned!







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