Year of the Butterfly

Life goes on.. even when you lose someone you love, even when you don't know what to think, how to feel, how to act and what to say. Everything will be okay, is what people like to say, but it won't and you know it. All you can do is bury your grief and hide, and hope on the surface at least life will appear to be normal. Is there any hope?
This is a story of a young girl battling with the loss of her father. Accompany her on a journey of self-discovery and misadventure as she negotiates her way through bereavement and processes the unanswered questions. Along the way, there are dreams, visions and schemes, at least one golden urn and a kidnapping. Her story is about a metamorphosis from pain into renewal and growth. Her destination is a place of hope with a promise of healing.


12. Mission Mullet!

It’s the weekend and I’m bored. There’s nothing to do. Mommy’s gone out and left us at home with Sue and Peggy. Their boyfriends are coming over and they're planning on watching DVDs. How boring. I can't go to Uncle Ron's house because my cousins are hanging out with their friends and of course I’m not allowed to hang out with them. So stupid. Jada and Barry are spending the weekend with their grandparents, and we're not allowed to play with just any of the children living in our street. Another dumb rule. Grandma and Aunty Mary have plans to go to the mall and offered to take us along, but I don't feel like going shopping. What to do... Lisa is in the backyard trying to teach the dog to roll over. She’s not having any luck. Maybe we should go for a ride. We haven't done that since Mommy banned us after our detective adventure. Oh wait! The evidence! Since I haven't seen the yellow car around all week, I’m feeling a little bit less scared and more curious about the mullet gang. This is a perfect day to continue our investigation. "Sis, look at me!" I’m tapping the window to get her attention. Porky finally rolls over to see where the noise is coming from. I pull at my ears and Lisa jumps up, taps her chin, and comes running to the window. "It’s time. Come."


We run to our bedroom so that nobody can hear what we're talking about. "Today we are going to stake out that house, okay?" "Okay! Are we going there on our bikes again?" "Yes, and we can't tell Sue and Peggy." "Another secret?" "Of course. Do you think if they know what we're doing that they would let us go? No chance. Are you game?" She nods. "I also think we should wear some disguises, so that if we run into the mullet gang by accident, they won't know it's us. It’s the safest way to do this." Lisa is frowning at me. "But they don't know us. They’ve never seen us before." Oh no, I was hoping she wouldn't think of that. "Um, yes, but isn't it more exciting that way? We can play undercover detective!" She's looking at me as if she's not sure if she believes me. "Okay, then what do we wear?"  We’re digging into our wardrobes and now she's starting to enjoy the idea more. "Hey, you can't go out wearing that! You’ll stick out like a clown's sore thumb. They’ll see us a mile away." "But this is a good costume! I think I look great." If you could see the combination of a pink cap, a yellow scarf, my bright green t-shirt that's too big for her over orange leggings and her short purple denim skirt, and a pair of white rimmed sun glasses Daddy bought her when she was 5 to match her white flip flops, then you’d have to agree with me. "Yes, but we're supposed to blend in with the surroundings. If you hide behind some bushes, people walking by will think you're a Christmas tree." She's not amused. "But I am wearing green. And I was thinking we should put some shoe polish on our faces." "Ha ha ha! Sis, you're too much. Look here. If we both wear our brown combat pants and these dark sweaters, we'll blend in with the bushes for sure. We’ll also take our black woolly winter caps to cover our heads." "Since when do you want us to dress the same?" "Hey, it's only this one time. Don’t get used to it."


Right, while I’m waiting for Lisa to finish dressing herself, I’m going to get our evidence. But where's Teddy? He’s not on Mommy's bed. I know this is where I had him last. He’s not in my big sisters' room. Let me ask them. "Have you guys seen Teddy anywhere?" "Shh! We’re watching a movie!" I can see that. Strange… "Sis, did you see Mommy putting Teddy away in here somewhere?" She shakes her head. "We don't need to know the car number plate, do we?" "No, just the address." "Oh, because I still remember it." Great! Anyway, I can more or less remember the way there from the park. I’ll look for Teddy tonight. "Fine, so are we ready to go then?" "Maybe this time we should take a notepad and a pen with us." "You’re right, Sis. What else do you think? We won't need the binoculars this time." "We can take our little torches with us." "Okay, but I don't plan on staying there until tonight. Let’s take one backpack and pack in some water and some sweets too. I’ll take my phone but I’d better put it on silent." We're almost ready to go when Peggy comes walking in. "What are you two silly monkeys up to? Do you want some lunch?" "We’re getting ready to go to the park." "Who said you could go?" "Mommy did. Didn’t she tell you?" "Uh, no! And the bag? Are you going for a picnic too?" "Yes, why not?" "Well, little sister, one good reason not to go is that it's supposed to rain later on." Damn, I didn't know that. "So? You can see how we're dressed and we're taking our caps too. If it looks like it's going to rain, we'll come right back. Okay?" She's looking first at me then at Lisa and then back at me, sucking her lip. "Mm, I don't know. Mommy said nothing to me about--" "Oh come on, Peg! We're really bored at home. Please can we go? Or you could walk there with us and see for yourself it's safe. You can even join in on our picnic if you like!" I know she's not going to want to do that. She sighs loudly and throws her hands up. "Fine, go. But you have to promise me to jump right on your bikes at the first sign of a raindrop." Lisa and I look at each other and say yes at the same time with our fingers crossed behind our backs... That was close! Our mission nearly got cancelled. "We are in big trouble if Mommy finds out!" Mommy's not going to find out because if she hears we went to the park without her permission, Mommy will blame Peggy and Sue for letting us go and they know it. Right now, I don't care. We’re out of the house, we're free and we have an exciting day ahead of us!

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