Bryanna Stutzman: The Wonders of Change (memoir)

Southern Legitimacy Statement; I was born and raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “Y’all” has been part of my vernacular since birth.

The Wonders of Change

It was a cool autumn day, the leaves were changing, and the smell of pumpkin spice coffee spiraled through the air, catching the attention of people passing by. Milly was sitting outside of Funky Fred’s Coffee shop wearing her usual messy bun, sweatshirt that was two sizes too big, and her favorite slippers. Every day at 7:35 p.m. sharp, Milly walked down to Funky Fred’s to enjoy a nice cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso.

Today started the same as always. Milly got her cup of coffee, sat down at the table farthest from Funky Fred’s under the redbud tree, and opened her book. But today, while Milly was in the middle of reading a very captivating scene in her favorite book, Peter Pan, she felt something fall onto her neck. She quickly swatted at the object that was flapping on her neck. When she brought her hand back down, she realized it had been a blue and black butterfly. Milly was devastated!

“Oh, how sorry I am little guy. If I had known it was you, I would never have swatted at you. Aghh! What a terrible person I am!!” Milly carefully laid the now dead butterfly on the ground and covered it with some leaves and beautiful purple and blue flowers she had taken from the table display.

Milly, glancing at her coffee and muffins, which now looked more like angry butterflies to her, decided it was time to leave Funky Fred’s.

“I’m going home,” she said to no one in particular. When Milly got home, she put on her fuzzy socks, sweatpants, and a new sweatshirt and curled up on her favorite bright pink chair that she thought seemed as if it was made of clouds. She quickly forgot about the butterfly and fell asleep watching My Little Pony.

After what felt like years to Milly, the sun finally came up, awaking Milly from her restless night of sleep. Ah, my neck and back feel like a spear has pierced through them, thought Milly, rubbing her neck. Wait a second, what is on my back? Milly wondered as her hand reached farther down her back. She jumped up and looked into her mirror and saw two giant blue and black wings sprouting from her shoulder blades! How on earth did this happen? Milly wondered.

“I might not care what people think of me, but I can’t go walking around Amsterdam with two giant wings attached to me!” Milly yelled frantically at her reflection in the mirror.
Milly started pacing around her room trying to think of how she could possibly have wings. She thought, Wait, what exactly happened when that butterfly landed on me yesterday?! She thought back to everything that had happened the day before. She had gone to Funky Fred’s, gotten her usual cappuccino with extra espresso. What else happened? Ah! Milly thought, I bet the barista added too much espresso that caused me to have this crazy dream. I will just take a cold shower to wake me up and this will all be over.

The cold water penetrated into Milly’s back, taking her breath away. A chill snaked up and down her body, making her shiver. One thing Milly knew for sure was that a cold shower was an all time cure for exhaustion, which is what she was feeling. She stepped out of the shower, the last water droplets inching their way down her body and onto the floor, and dried off with her favorite fluffy towel.

Milly turned around and looked into the mirror, expecting to see her regular self, but low and behold, she still had giant butterfly wings sprouting from her back! Now what am I supposed to do? Milly knew she couldn’t go see a doctor because they would just send her to a lab to have experiments done on her. Why me?!? Milly frantically wondered. Then she remembered what had happened at Funky Fred’s when the butterfly had landed on her neck. She jumped up onto her bathroom sink to get a closer look at her neck in the mirror. Sure enough, she could see two little pin pricks where the butterfly had bitten her!

There must be a reason that butterfly landed on me and bit me to make these giant wings grow straight out of my back, Milly thought. But what could that reason be? Well, if I’m gonna be stuck with these wings, I might as well learn how to use them. Milly climbed on top of her two person kitchen table, and expanded her wings.

After many attempts, and many bruises, Milly finally managed to make her wings lift her off of her table and gently set her back down onto the floor. Milly was ecstatic. “Did anyone see that?!” she exclaimed. “Oh no, of course not. No one else is here,” she chuckled to herself. Milly realized that she could now do almost anything she wanted with the help of her new wings. The only limit was her own strength.

What was the point to all this madness? Milly wondered. She decided she would do all she could to assist people who struggled in their everyday lives. Milly had always had a simple life, going through her days, doing exactly the same things. But now she had wings. Now she could do whatever she wanted. Deep down, Milly knew there was a bigger purpose for these wings besides her own fun and enjoyment. She knew that her new purpose was to help those in need, and she was determined use her wings in fulfilling that purpose.