Sunday, November 4, 2007


Monique is the moniker of a Monarch butterfly, an orange and black-winged bug floating across the pages of a child’s picture book. As a little girl, that was my Monique.

Then I went to college and met another Monique, fleshed out and wingless. She was a wispy Tongan from Northern California, and she was my roommate. She put up with my standard 3AM study sessions. She suspended a card from the ceiling on my 19th birthday. She made my bed. She encouraged me to do my laundry more than once monthly. She cleaned the gravel out of my wounds, pouring hydrogen peroxide over the road rash on my feet, when I tumbled off the back of Mark’s motorcycle. She encouraged me to add color to my bland color scheme. She loved me.

I graduated and left Hawaii. She stayed on the island. A Californian through-and-through, she was of the U-tard persuasion. Now she finds herself content in an Orem town home with claret-colored walls. She had a little girl. I got a dog. While I lazed in Utah last week, we converged.

Here is my sweet Monique. The Monique that loved me—loves me. She’s not a Monarch butterfly but is equally vibrant. Her heart has always held my best interests. She’s the nearest I’ve had to an elder sister. For her daughter Talei she’s the right kind of mother, and for me she’s the best kind of friend.

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