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Fireflies

Fireflies

Fireflies

It was a moonless night.    The forest was quiet, save for the occasional rustle of branches.

A small cabin stood in the middle of the woods.   From its glass windows one could see the bright lights of a celebration.   Laughter could be heard within, and the clinking of glasses.

From the door of the cabin emerged a woman, pushing a man in a wheelchair.   She was whispering to him, and the man smiled.  Suddenly the man pointed at the trees, and she wheeled him slowly facing it.

In front of them, small lights sparkled between the trees, while they could hear chirping of insects.

The man beamed.   “They’re beautiful.”  He looked at the woman.  “Fireflies.”

The woman looked at him.  “Do you remember anything about the fireflies?”

“Yes…” he said, wistfully.   “When I was a child my father used to bring me to the woods to watch the fireflies.   We sat throughout the night, just drinking hot cocoa and watching the tiny things dancing.   I would fall asleep on my father’s arms.”

“It must have been wonderful,” she said.

“Yes, it was…”  He watched silently at the fireflies, then his hand grasped at the handles of his wheelchair.   “I remember… I remember bringing my wife here, out in this cabin, showing her the fireflies… the fireflies are always here…”

He smiled sadly watching the dancing lights.   The woman asked, “Do you remember her?”

His brow furrowed.   “No… I think she’s gone…”

The woman wiped something in her eye.   She clasped at his hand, and he lifted it to his face.   “Thank you for this,” he told her.   “The fireflies… They make me remember…”

They stared at the dancing lights for a long time.   “Do you want to go back to the party?”  The woman asked, her voice cracking.

He was staring ahead.   “No,” he pleaded.  “Let me stay a little longer.”

“Okay,” she replied.

They stayed watching the fireflies throughout the night, until the man fell asleep on the woman’s hand.

She smiled at the fireflies, then silently carried the man back inside.