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.


30. The waiting game

Day 8. It’s D-day. The kidnappers wake up early, have breakfast and proceed to load off most of the loot except for the paintings and the shoebox. It appears that Mack’s contact wants to see the goods before he decides whether to buy or not. Skinny and Barney are dispatched to transport the goods back to the house and meet the buyer. The mood is tense on the boat as Whitey is talking even less than usual and Mack only growls. They are waiting to hear from Skinny and Barney about the sale and the waiting is eating Mack alive. He picks up his phone several times but changes his mind about calling them. He gets a text message and immediately calms down. He tells Whitey the buyer is at the house and they are negotiating. Things are looking up. He had instructed Skinny to mention the paintings and golden vase to the buyer in case he might be interested. The longer it takes them to get rid of that chunk of gold, the more difficult it will become. And Mack is not going to let anything spoil his fun.


The girls are pretty tired by mid-morning as they had very little sleep during the night. They’re lying on their mattress with their eyes closed and that's when they hear Mack and Whitey talking about them. "We’ll get them to say a couple of things on the tape recorder and we can play it back in bits to the mother until we're safely far away." "Yeah, but have you made up your mind about where we're going to get rid of them? I know you've got Barney to dance to your tune now, but I still don't trust him. He’s not going to be happy getting blood on his hands and anyway, that kind of thing can get messy. It’s not like we’ve done that before either." "For a score like this one, there has to be a first time for everything. But you're right. And I’ve got the perfect solution. We can get rid of them without technically getting our hands dirty, my old friend." "So you're going with dumping them somewhere… or what?" All he does is shake his head and smile mysteriously. The young girl has her hand clamped over her little sister's mouth. They have to hear the rest. Luckily they’ve got the blanket covering them. "Aww, just look at the sleeping beauties! All that money and it’s no good to them." Mack sighs and Whitey grins wordlessly. But up they go onto the deck outside, leaving the 2 girls alone, none the wiser, shaking with fear.


"You can't c-cry, okay Sis? I’m going to t-take my hand away now." Lisa takes a few deep breaths and looks at her sister for reassurance. She sees none. The tears are streaming down her little face. "I don't want to die!" "Shh... me neither, Sis. And we're not going to! Listen, remember what we decided last night: we're not going to worry before the time, unless it's absolutely necessary. They wouldn’t dare hurt us." "But Mack’s going to do something bad to us and Whitey won't help us. Nobody can." She's sobbing softly now and not even bothering to wipe her tears away. The young girl can only sigh and in her mind she's cursing Mack and Whitey for being so horrid. Her mother believes that bad people always get what they deserve, especially if they make good people suffer. She thinks her mother may be right but when do the bad people get to suffer? People like Mack get away with murder all the time and now she gets to witness it at first hand. How can anybody be ready to die, she's wondering. Was her father ready? Surely he also had things he wanted to do in his life like she does with hers? "What do you think Daddy would've done if he hadn't died?" Her question catches Lisa off guard and she stops sobbing. "He said he was going to take us on a plane somewhere nice for Christmas." "Oh yes, and he said he wanted to play golf like Grandpa. I remember asking him if  I could pull his golf cart and learn how to play too... What about you, Sis?" "I wanted to get married and have 5 babies one day. I was going to have a pink wedding, and Daddy and Mommy were both going to give me away," she sighed. "Sis, I don't think Mommy could handle it if we also died. We don't have a choice. When the time comes, we just have to be ready to fight! We have to escape and get back home somehow. By now, the whole family will know we're missing. Can you imagine how terrible everyone must feel? We can't let them down. They need us too. I don't care what Mack’s got up his sleeve, Sis, but we are not going to die now. And that’s that!"

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