Chapter no 77 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌Ladybug


olivia and i are sitting on her front stoop. she’s helping me with my lines. it’s a warm march evening, almost like summer. the sky is still bright cyan but the sun is low and the sidewalks are streaked with long shadows.

i’m reciting: yes, the sun’s come up over a thousand times. summers and winters have cracked the mountains a little bit more and the rains have brought down some of the dirt. some babies that weren’t even born before have begun talking regular sentences already; and a number of people who thought they were right young and spry have noticed that they can’t bound up a flight of stairs like they used to, without their heart fluttering a little.…

i shake my head. can’t remember the rest.

all that can happen in a thousand days, olivia prompts me, reading from the script.

right, right, right, i say, shaking my head. i sigh. i’m wiped, olivia. how the heck am i going to remember all these lines?

you will, she answers confidently. she reaches out and cups her hands over a ladybug that appears out of nowhere. see? a good luck sign, she says, slowly lifting her top hand to reveal the ladybug walking on the palm of her other hand.

good luck or just the hot weather, i joke.

of course good luck, she answers, watching the ladybug crawl up her wrist. there should be a thing about making a wish on a ladybug. auggie and I used to do that with fireflies when we were little. she cups her hand over the ladybug again. come on, make a wish. close your eyes.

i dutifully close my eyes. a long second passes, then I open them. did you make a wish? she asks.


she smiles, uncups her hands, and the ladybug, as if on cue, spreads its wings and flits away.

don’t you want to know what I wished for? i ask, kissing her.

no, she answers shyly, looking up at the sky, which, at this very moment, is the exact color of her eyes.

i made a wish, too, she says mysteriously, but she has so many things she could wish for I have no idea what she’s thinking.

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