Hana Wu had worked with Elysa earlier that week. She had been trying to write, but was having difficulty and Elysa offered to help. It had been a great meeting. They went to a restaurant in the Village and took over a table for the evening, a kind of endless feast for writing and editing.
Hana thought fondly of that evening as she strolled through Washington Square Park the next day, a fabulous late summer afternoon. She was a little cautious, because certain things spooked her so she usually had to be on her guard in case she might feel threatened. To be out and about was a little unusual for her because she had been facing some health issues, but it seemed to her that life was on the upswing. She was optimistic.
As she walked she saw Elysa sitting on a bench near the water fountain.
"What's going on?" Hana asked. "I thought you were meeting Jerome for coffee."
"I thought so too." Elysa seemed perturbed.
"Well, it was strange. I saw this guy stalking this woman in the park."
"You mean right here?" Hana glanced around nervously. "Stalking?"
"Well, maybe not stalking... just following her... and then she disappeared... and then reappeared almost like some sorceress with a butterfly... and she could control the butterfly..."
"What in the world are you talking about?" Hana sat beside her. She was dumbfounded. She had always thought of Elysa as level headed and smart. Now she was talking about a sorceress with a butterfly! Who just suddenly 'appeared'?
Elysa looked her in the eye. "And then just as suddenly as she appeared, she was gone."
"Gone? What about the guy?"
Elysa shrugged. "He seemed bewitched, startled... but also devastated."
Hana stood up. "This is all just a little to much for me to believe. I think you may have been in the sun too long." She paused. "What happened to Jerome?"
"Here I am running, almost breaking my neck to get to Dante's on time, and he texts me that he can't meet me after all!" Hana could see that Elysa was really pissed.
"Well, there must be some explanation, Hana offered.
"There better be. He doesn't answer my texts or phone."
Hana laughed. "You know he can't talk on the phone. Why do you even bother?"
She walked with Elysa toward the giant old elm in the northwest corner of the park.
"I really want to thank you for helping me with my manuscript," Hana said. "I think it helped me get back on track."
Elysa nodded. "Where are you going?"
Elysa thought Hana looked the best she had seen her for some time. She said goodbye and walked away.
Hana watched her walk away. She thought about the butterflies in the park. If too close they could spook her, so she was usually relieved to see them flying at a distance. There were so many at this time in August, all with brilliant red wings with a black jagged line almost in the middle of each wing. They were beautiful as long as they kept their place.
Butterflies were such a metaphor, Hana thought. Wasn't there a movie about butterflies are free?