I Lost a Button
“I lost a button.” I said to the man in the uniform.
I held out my right hand so he could see the brown button on my palm.
“Oh. So you have. The principal will have a sewing kit. Come on.” He said before leading me down the halls of my school. Past the silent children and the sniffling adults.
Past the sign outside the gym that just said: Memorial.
I followed him all the way to the office where more adults were gathered around the principal and a girl I knew from class.
Emily, the principal’s daughter.
“Yes Frank?” The principal asked as she wiped her eyes.
“Girl lost a button.” He said softly.
“Oh. I have some thread here. Do you know how to sew?” She said as she pulled a tin box out of her desk.
“Well enough.” I replied, not making eye contact with the girl next go her. She was staring at me intently with eyes that never blinked.
“Which colour did you need?” The principal held out the tin and with the barest glimpse at Emily, I answered.
I took my chosen thread and needle and walked out of the office and out of the front doors and around the corner. Then I turned around to face the girl who had followed me.
“It would be better if I could sew neatly.” I commented.
She didn’t answer.
She stared at me silently. Done up so neatly in her brown dress and matching hair ribbon.
It had been her favourite outfit.
There was a button missing from the pocket of her dress.
I held out the button, needle, and thread.
“Do you want me too?”
For moment I thought she wouldn’t answer but then-
We were the same age.
I wondered if she would miss me too.
I threaded the needle and knelt. Then I slid a hand between her cold cold skin and the dress before pushing the needle through the fabric from behind.
Visions of letters and pictures flew through my head.
“Wow. Your dad really loved you.” I said before continuing my work.
I slid the button onto the needle and pulled the needle through as I held the button in place.
At first the thread came out easily but then it stopped.
I took a deep breath because I knew what was going to happen.
I pulled harder and the thread came out wet and dark. Emily started convulsing as the memories came back.
Of her parents, both loving and kind.
Of school and her friends.
Of that day.
She and Danielle and Tommy went to play in the old quarry.
They decided to climb down to the deepest part.
She slipped and fell, pulling the rocks down with her.
They crushed her body and she screamed and screamed and-
“There. I fixed it.” I stood up and brushed the dirt off my knees.
Emily looked at me with recognition now though I still didn’t like her dead gaze.
But I am not cruel.
“Try not to lose it again. But if you do, I can always sew your button back on again. I sew well enough for that."
With that I turned and walked away.
I didn’t look back but I didn’t need to.
I had fixed the button already.
Just a little story based on a nightmare I had