The butterfly‘s wings flickered and fluttered; the blue and green pattern lit up against the verdant backdrop of the carefully manicured garden.
Penny watched it from her vantage spot on the wicker outdoor dining chair. Her book placed flat, spine pointing upwards on glass-top table. Merv was opposite her, sipping his Earl Grey tea, oblivious to her and the beauty of their surroundings.
‘You know,’ she said, more to interrupt his thoughts than a real desire for conversation. ‘We should sight-see while we’re here.’
Typical. Never listened. Always lost in whatever world he was building in his mind, for his next creation. The point of this mini-break was for them to reconnect, to rebuild their own world.
‘We ought to do something together, Merv. Isn’t that why we’re here.’
‘Yes. Of course.’ He pulled out his phone and began tapping the screen.
He looked up sharply. ‘No need to shout, Penny.’
Penny fumed. The butterfly was still dancing nearby. She longed for its freedom, its wandering lifestyle. Wondered what its life as a caterpillar was like, before becoming restored into its current glorious form.
‘There’s a few walking tracks nearby, Merv. We should go on one after lunch.’ She picked up visitor pamphlets that she’d brought onto the balcony earlier, from their room. ‘Which route shall we take?’
‘You choose, my love.’
Penny smiled while she stared at the butterfly again. This mini-break was a mistake. The butterfly darted about; with each flicker of its wings Penny became increasingly aware she was trapped in a chrysalis. What would she become once she’d broken free of Merv and this unsatisfying marriage.
It was time to find out.