I am known as Butterfly, but I am much stronger than that

I am stronger than he is. My skin doesn't blister and split every time my nail scratches the outer surface of my arm.

I am a clone of Jaxon Fritter, but I am different.

I am not a carrier of that destructive gene which means the slightest touch could mean instant death.

That is the very reason for my existence; to give up my entire being so that Jaxon Fritter can fulfil his purposeful life.

And right now, I'm late ...

''Evening, Butterfly,'' she greets, holding her hands out patiently by the door and motioning for me to enter.

I do so and sit down.

The stool squeaks as it embraces my weight and it echoes around the empty space.

I watch her reflection in the glass as she stares at the back of my head.

Then she turns and leaves.

Butterfly.

Most sectors refer to me as 016, but some refer to me as Butterfly because of Jaxon's fragile disease.

I refuse to respond.

Butterflies are weak creatures whose existence means nonentity.

Jaxon should be appointed Butterfly.

The buzzer goes off and lights switch on behind the glass so the room beyond becomes visible.

The door on the right hand side opens. David Fritter walks in.

Smiling at me at first, he then stutters and draws his eyes away from mine.

His familiar gait makes the corners of my mouth tilt slightly as he awkwardly manoeuvres across the room.

Stacy Fritter is next.

She extends her hand to grab David's, her restless eyes unblinking through her thick glass lenses as she stares straight at me.

Ludicrous how these two humans were considered acceptable to reproduce.

Talk about selective breeding.

I sigh again and they both stare at me in complete awe.

Jaxon enters.

He is cradled in a wheelchair, covered from neck to toe in pale blue plaster.

The nurse wheels him so he sits directly in front of me.

David takes the nurse's spot and she is dismissed.

I watch as Jaxon's swollen eyes slide cursorily over my body, as if he may not have enough time left to study me.

I watch his blistered cheeks tremor and the rapid pulse in his infected neck throb even harder when his eyes reach my face.

I smile broadly and he looks as if he's about to faint.

David twitches and his knuckles become white from squeezing Stacy's hand.

She nudges him with her elbow and he suddenly blurts out: ''H-h-h-i there 016.''

Oh, Lovely.

''Hi, all.''

I smile again and they all stare in admiration.

I lean forward and they lean back in unison, eyes wide.

The nurse returns, all giddy and the trance is broken.

''Great progress!'' she claps.

''Butterfly, why don't you give us a twirl?''

I feel my eyebrows pull together in what can only be a grimace.

I stand and spin around purposely knocking the stool with my knee cap.

Jaxon's mouth drops open as my skin stays intact and the nurse explodes in applause.

''Wonderful, 016! Wonderful!''

''How long?'' Jaxon demands, keeping his eyes firmly on mine.

''Possibly 014 days,'' the nurse claps once and beams at me.

I watch his face. I lift my finger and trace over my lips.

His lips curl up as if I'm touching his property.

His property.

And in that instance, I know I wasn't created to save this morbid being.

He is no Butterfly.

 


• By Giuliana FISCHLI Year 13, Tokomairiro High School

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