Deidre’s mother was a peacock: beautiful, colourful, breath-taking. Deidre’s sister was a butterfly: graceful, elegant, appealing. Deidre was neither of these things; she was a shadow, a black and white faded photograph of herself. She felt lost amongst their pungent perfumes and social gatherings.
Deidre didn’t fit in with the girls at work either, with their laughter, chatter, luminous cocktails and bubblegum pink lipstick. They didn’t bother with her; sometimes they forgot she was there.
Deidre had often dreamed of being a peacock or a butterfly but her shape was all wrong for electric blue mini skirts and scarlet high heels, so she became a caterpillar, eternally cocooned within her drab grey cardigan.
Deidre was shocked when Graham from the sales team had invited her out for a drink, how had he noticed her when she’d done such an excellent job of camouflaging into the office walls?
Two glasses of Merlot into the date, Deidre explained to Graham about peacocks and butterflies. He smiled with kind eyes and held her hand. He told her that she was a wise owl, much more impressive and higher up the pecking order. He told her that she should forget about the peacocks and butterflies, you have to unwrap a present to find the joy.
She asked him about the birds and the bees and he took her home and loved her gently. She shook off the moths and transformed into a contented little skylark, singing and dancing, their private duet.