"Keep it, it suits you"
It was one of the two hair clips she had ever owned. A blue butterfly glittering in his hair.
After they said goodbye and she got home, she sat down with a sigh. She had lost the other barrette a long time ago. Now she had voluntarily given the second one. She didn't regret that, with him the barrette was safe, she had no doubt about that.
He wore it on his watch, on his chalkbag. He took it with him to the mountains. The hair clip always seemed to be a few steps ahead of her. Until he lost it in the mountains.
One Sunday evening, he confessed while she sat on the ground listening to melancholy music. His words seemed catastrophic to her at first, but he wrapped it up as gently as possible. An accident, an oversight. She could have anticipated it.
She tried to console herself with the fact that the mountains were the best place to be lost in, and he tried to soothe her by fantasizing that someday an archaeologist - as he was one - would find the hairclip.
She nodded mutely. A comforting thought. Anyway, perhaps the barrette was not meant to be found. Butterflies are meant to be free. Those two butterflies she possessed apparently wanted to be free. Presumably, she had never really possessed the clips. Possession is an extreme that only humans know. The butterflies would never have considered being bound. Could they even be lost because of it?
Sometimes she hoped to be a butterfly herself. Free and unbound. But she also wanted to be lost in the mountains. She wanted to belong to someone and feel in the most extreme way possible for humans. For that, she accepted being possessed. If it was him who lost her hair clip - so unintentionally, shyly and carefully - then it was fine with her. The clip was no longer his; it had lost him as much as he had lost it.
But her - she stayed with him. She wanted to. And so she was his.
© Sophie Haller 2022-08-08