As the potent rays struggled to find their way through the clouds that rolled across the unusual sky, Taya slowly opened her eyes to welcome another day. She moved her long black hair from her face and tucked it behind her ears. In those first moments of wakefulness, her attention was immediately captured by a flash of bright colors coming from the source of light. Toe-walking to avoid waking up her roommate who was sleeping on the other side of the wall, Taya came closer to the window to salute the charming visitor standing on the edge of the open pane.
“They are here to stay,” she whispered as the bright yellow butterfly with red lines tattooed on its thorax flapped its wings, preparing to disappear into the light of the day. Excited by this curious encounter, Taya quickly put on her indigo dress, paired it with sand- colored sandals, and rushed to her teacher’s house, knowing that he must have been already awake, despite the temptation to indulge in some much-needed rest. When you do what you love, it’s not really work. The words of Professor Elro echoed in the back of her mind. His house was only a few blocks away.
She knew the road well and despite the similar structure of all surrounding houses, it was never hard to spot the one you were looking for. In Aire the whole population consisted of merely ten thousand people, most of them living in family residences or shared homes, never taller than three floors. She had walked this road so many times it seemed like her legs were moving mechanically, with no need for direction. The house she was heading to was not just a home to Professor Elro but was also his office and the classroom where Taya and her friends attended one of the most popular classes in Aire. The Professor’s passion for teaching and spreading knowledge about the ways of nature was as inspiring as his enthusiasm for practical work. Precisely the topic Taya wanted to inform him about. She was relieved to spot Professor in the front garden, which spared her the slight embarrassment of having to disturb him by ringing the doorbell on this month’s day of rest in Aire. Fortunately, he was right there, meticulously examining his crops and flowers, seeming almost absent from the rest of the world.
“Professor Elro,” she said softly, trying to discreetly announce her presence, but he was too involved in his work to notice her. She pronounced his name again, this time a bit louder.
“Good morning, Taya,” he replied
without diverting his attention from the flower he was observing.
“Professor, I have something important to tell you,” she exclaimed, approaching him enthusiastically.
“What is it, my child? You seem agitated? Is everything all right?” he replied.
“More than all right. I hope you don’t mind me coming so early unannounced, but I wanted to share with you what I saw this morning.”
“Well, go on.” He looked at her.
“When I woke up, I was immediately attracted by the play of bright colors appearing on the window. When I came closer, I realized it was the yellow butterfly with the hint of red, the same species we introduced in Aire last month. I haven’t seen them in a while, but I have a feeling they have decided to stay. A whole month has passed, so they must have adjusted to the new environment by now.” Taya couldn’t hide her amazement at the discovery she had made earlier that morning.
“That is excellent, Taya! See how your effort paid off? You did it with much love and the results were sure to follow. Everything in the world reacts equally to love: with love.”
“Thank you, Professor Elro, but I was merely helping you. I can’t possible take all the credit,” she replied, mirroring her modest soul in her words.
“This was your project, I was simply there to guide you. You should feel proud of your accomplishment. Now, I need to return to my garden and you should enjoy your day off, too. We will share the news with the rest of the class tomorrow and discuss new strategies for further work.”
He turned away, saluted Taya with a friendly hand gesture and carried on with his work. Taya stood there for a moment, acknowledging that his garden may have been one of the most beautiful ones in all Aire. After just a few steps in the direction of her home, she thought that her roommate was most probably still sleeping, since there were still very few people outside. So she turned around and decided to disobey the Professor and start her day with a bit of work. In the end, when work is pleasurable, it’s not really work, she paraphrased silently and headed cheerfully to the green area as the artificial breeze played with her light dress.
Missed the previous chapter? Find it here.
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