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.

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22. Survival stinks

Day 5. We’ve been in these clothes for days. I’m sure they're beginning to stink but we've been getting so used to smelly things around here, that I can't tell a good smell from a bad smell any more. But as soon as I woke up, I could smell something fresh in the air, like rain. Sitting in this room, locked up and far away from home and everybody I love, is making me think about a lot of stuff. I think about everything that's happened this year. This really hasn't been a good year for me. With nothing else to keep me busy, I spend all my time awake thinking about my life before Daddy got sick, what it was like when Daddy got sick and then my life since Daddy died. Lisa and I are in so much trouble right now, but when I think that Daddy’s gone for good, that scares me much more than this. I don't actually care what happens to me, but I don't want Lisa to get hurt, especially because of a stupid mistake I made. I also think about what life will be like after this horrible year is over, after 2 years and more, and it makes me want to vomit. Now this had to happen to us too. I mean, this is a perfect example of why we need Daddy! Now Mommy has to deal with this by herself. And even if we make it out of this safely, it's still not fair that he's gone. I miss all the silly, funny things he always said and did, like singing that song to us – the song Mommy said he chose our names from. I don't think I’m ever really going to be all right, no matter what my guardian angel said. Where’s she now, anyway? Has my angel left me too? I have a bad feeling about this...

 

I hear voices outside. It sounds like Mack and Skinny talking in the backyard. "We have to get rid of the big stuff first. We can't take those with us, but the smaller things we'll keep to sell along the way." "Yeah, it's just a shame we had to dump the truck so soon. We could've used it now. I know a couple of guys we can offload the electronics onto and that sports equipment too, but now we'll have to get a bigger car to transport everything." "That’s easy. I’ve got a cousin who's got a van I can borrow. I’ll call him now but let's pack the gold and the smaller stuff in my car and let's get going. We want to get the ball rolling as fast as we can, because that old lady's going to crack before long." "We just have to time it perfectly: get the money, dump the kids and disappear. By the time she calls the police and they find the kids, we'll be far gone." "Skinny, man this is sweet! Barney’s an idiot most of the time, but I’ve got to give him his due. He found us a goldmine, almost literally!" Their laughing has woken up Lisa and try as I might, I can't hide the look on my face from her. "Morning. What’s going on? Why are you looking at me like that?" What do I tell her? Someone’s unlocking the bedroom door. It’s Mack. I hope he can see in my eyes how much I hate him. "Rise and shine, sleepy heads! Ooh, something doesn't smell so good in here, does it! Ha ha! Skinny looks after you for one day and you already smell like him!" Is he just going to stand there and make fun of us? "We could use some clean clothes, please. We’ve been wearing these for 5 days." "Your wish is my command. Follow me Minnie and Mouse." He's walking into the room opposite. "This used to be my sister's room. You didn't know I have a sister, did you? Well, I do and she's not much older than you. Let’s see what she left behind." His face is serious again and I’m wondering where his sister is now. He must have parents too. I wonder if they died. If that's the case, I’d better not ask. He might get angry. I might feel sorry for him and I don't want to. He’s a mean liar and I’d like to kick him in the shins. My cousins would know what to do with him! Just wait until they get their hands on him! He’s giving us each a t-shirt and shorts. "It’s drizzling a bit right now but it's going to be a scorcher later today. Perfect day for the beach!" He takes us to the bathroom. "Finish up quickly, so that you can have your breakfast, and then…" He looks at us like he's about to give us a present. "Then we're all going on a joyride! Wouldn’t you just love that? After being stuck in here the last few days, I’m sure you'd like to see something different, although I don't know if your view is going to be that special. Well, you can use your imagination! Move it. I’ll be back in 10."

 

Lisa is hopping up and down. "Maybe they're letting us go today!" My head is buzzing and I feel like I’m going to be sick... "Ew! What’s the matter with you?" I hate throwing up - the smell of vomit makes me even more nauseous. “They’re not letting us go, Sis. We have got to find a way to escape." "Why are you saying that?" "I heard them talking outside. They’re going to leave us somewhere in the middle of nowhere." "Oh. But then we'll be free." "And how will we get home? We won't have our bikes and we won't know our way. Sis, listen very carefully. As soon as they drive into traffic, one of us must try to open the door and jump out. It will hurt a lot but that's the only way to save ourselves. Okay?" Her bottom lip is shivering. "That sounds dangerous. I don't think I can do it." "Yes, you can! You’ve seen it on TV a million times. We have to be brave, Sis. If we can do this with other cars around, they have to stop their car and the other drivers will come and help us. Let’s use our signal before we're ready to do it, okay?" Before she can answer me, Mack bangs on the door. "Your time’s up, girlies. Let’s go." He takes us to the living room where we have breakfast alone. Mack seems to be the only one here and he keeps going in and out of the house. He put cartoons on TV but we can't watch them. The moment Mack goes outside again, I’m going to run to his sister's bedroom and open the window, come back to the sofa and the next time he goes out, I’ll take Lisa with me and we'll escape! He’s out in the backyard. We can be on our bikes before he realises we're gone! "Sis, I’m going to the bathroom quickly. Wait here." Time to escape.

 

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