His breath caresses her face. Coffee and cigarettes mixed with his odour. Musk and earth. Dark. Man. Virile. Her mouth opens a little. They both are breathing heavenly, haven’t spoken a word since they found each other, here, outside at the willow tree.
They move closer. And closer. Their eyelashes almost touch. He turns his head a little to the right and kisses gently her open mouth. His tongue enters. She takes a while to respond, just a second. Her breasts swell, between her legs a storm sets off. Then they grab one another. Hands pull and push everywhere. Come closer, go away, come nearer, leave me alone, come inside me.
He lifts her up and lays her down. Their tongues still entwined. Eyes wide open. They stare at each other like hunted animals. Fighting tigers. She bites his shoulder. He grabs her breast. Tears down her dress. Her firm naked breast fills his hand. Her nipple scratches his palm. He moulds one breast after another with a strong fist.
The sun plays on his face and in her hair. She starts unbuckling his pants; he lifts her dress and pulls down her knickers. Swift and firm. As if their life depends on it. As if they are in a hurry. ‘Quickly, before life ends!’.
The grass tickles between her legs. De dog licks her bare feet. A bee whizzes by.
He wets his fingers. Touches her vagina, and his knob. Lifts himself a little, holds his penis in his hand and points him in the right direction. The first push. It isn’t gently. She is being pierced. Her legs are forced to open wide. She feels how he reaches the back inside of her. She screams and throws her head backwards. Her body is curled up. A tensed bow. The sun blinds her. Through her eyelids she sees shades of coloured flowers and green grass.
He grabs her hair, stretches his arms. Her head folds even more backwards. Her chin high up in the air. He licks her neck. She hears the insects buzzing above them. Like an abundant gathering for their lovemaking. Life is approving what shouldn’t be approved.
Her legs around his waist. He bites her ear. She takes his head between her hands. Raises her head and kisses him. Mouths open wide. Her orgasm a little earlier then his. Probably instigated by her breathing. Faster and faster. And her moaning. Wilder and wilder. Until she inhales deeply and dies, a little. He follows her just a few punches behind. His face backwards, looking at the bluest sky and whitest clouds above their heads. He reaches heaven.
A few hours earlier.
It takes her a few days to add a face to the new smell he brings home. The shock just adds a little extra to the burden she is carrying for so long after what happened. The house smells like coffee and his side of the bed is still warm. She hears the excitement of the dog, his paws scratching the wooden floor in the living room. The door closes. The house immediately fills with that unbearable silence that made the biggest noise of all.
She doesn’t know what to do. Life has drained out of her a long time ago. She has been living in her bed ever since but now something forces her out of it, into the garden, into the woods. Her white nightgown envelops her fragile body and waves in the wind.
The dog is so busy smelling, he doesn’t notice her. ‘Did anyone had taken notice of her during the last few years?’ she wonders. Without answering this question she continues in his footsteps.
Suddenly he walks of the path into the field next to it. She hides behind a tree. ‘Is he aware of her following him?’ She doesn’t dare to watch. But nothing happens. Walking through the knee-high grass, she gazes around and flashes her eyes when seeing all the butterflies. Suddenly she feels something arising at the horizon of her consciousness. Something is approaching through the numbness in her head. Her heart starts pounding and she’s shivering. In complete distress she realises what it is. The willow tree! That’s where she used to play with Charlotte. She freezes and closes her eyes. But even with her eyes locked she sees her little girl running through the grass. Only her little hands and the butterfly net peeking out. She hears her tiny voice ‘mommy, mommy, look what I’ve got, the most beautiful butterfly I have ever seen’. Charlotte runs towards her, with a big smile, her eyes shining bride as the sun. Her heart files with joy and she opens her arms but then Charlotte evaporates, just in front of her. Charlotte is frozen in time. She lives in memories now. They are forever separated.
The shock is painful, she opens her eyes and drops unto her knees. She crawls next to the willow tree. The breathing of wrestling lovers. The moaning of a passionate duet. She doesn’t have to raise her head to see what is taken place right in front of her. She lays her head on one of the roots of the willow tree.
Charlotte sings in her ear:
‘Butterfly, butterfly, whence do you come?
I know not, I ask not, nor ever had a home.
Butterfly, butterfly, where do you go?
Where the sun shines, and where the buds grow.'
She feels het little baby girl stroking her cheek.
Later that day her body is found by a hunter. He tells the police how his dog ran off and started barking in the distance. He had never seen anything like it. It looked like a white sheet hanging from the willow tree surrounded by thousands of butterflies. Only after a while he had noticed the woman. He had cut the cord and had laid her down. She had this big smile on her face he couldn’t stand. He had turned her around unto her belly.
While police are marking the ground for inspection, a young female police officer that has just joined the local police force, feels something hard when pushing a post into the ground. When pulling it out she immediately recognizes the strong, awful smell. Three days later Charlotte’s identity is confirmed. It was hard to tell after all those years, but the law doctor is convinced that she has been strangled and buried immediately afterwards near the willow tree. In what’s left of Charlotte’s tiny hand she holds an earring, which belongs to her mother.