Patch had fallen in a puddle at the party, and that might have been the moment. Bright satin flowers turned damp and dirty. Or was it another night, the night Patch ate chips on the back of a bicycle at two in the morning, then cried all the way home? Was it the night Patch took off the painful gold sparkling stilettos and ran barefoot to bed, though there was frost on the ground? Was it the night Patch, dressed as an evil witch, left one love safe asleep then crept to another’s bed, innocently, so Patch thought, at the time? Or was it the night where Patch doesn’t remember fitting, stripping, and sicking? The night Patch ignored bruised knuckles, the night Patch sobbed while a boy in a corset passed out, the night Patch lay stargazing at the ceiling making angels in the dust, the day Patch refused to look after a more bedraggled flower?
Which was the moment that tore the fabric?
Perhaps it was none. Perhaps it had been the black and white penguin uniforms, ribbons around necks, that trapped and shredded love.
No, Patch thought. It was the poison poured inside.
It was the glitzy ballroom waltzes.
The dizzy rushes.
The puzzles in the whirl.
The lack of balance.
The nervous gulps to fill the silence.
The search for adventure.
The unsocial caterpillar trying to fly.
The unlocked door of the control tower.
Rip, rip, rip.
Love, blood, mud.
It bound broken pieces together, and those shiny dresses knew how to stand it, with vibrant defiance. There was only one chance to dance, and when skin grows back and you’re only going to wear that dress once, the choice seems simple.
It got colder in the jeans and t-shirt times, and then the grown up sober black and white suits tried to chuck the scraps out.
But you can’t stop flowers from growing again. Glittered roses are part of Patch.
Don’t blame the adventures or the frocks, it was the party food that made Patch ill, the party games that brought Patch pain.
No more cowboys.
No more shooting shots.
We’ll have rainbow parades and pass the parcel, with no tantrums. Then everyone lives happy ever after, and the belle of the ball saves the last dance for we.
Patch knows that joy can come back.