Butterflies

Robyn's just been dumped. To be honest she saw it coming, he'd done it before, she just believed it was her lot in life to continually deal with it. But things are changing, Robyn's opening her eyes and starting to realise that her life isn't as mapped out as she once thought. Fate has something interesting in store for her. But is she ready for it? Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent- Eleanor Roosevelt

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5. Beginnings

'We're not from this planet Robyn'. Ethan states. I stare at him for a second, dumbfounded. I then do the only logical thing: I burst out laughing. I laugh so hard that I bend forward holding myself together.I can't quite believe this is happening to me. I'm in the middle of a huge cliché. It's ridiculous. I quickly go through a whole Superman, superhero-from-another-planet scenario in my head and this just makes me laugh harder. I peek up at Ethan through my now tear-soaked eyes. He doesn't look amused. He's hands are crossed across his chest and he's staring at me, not smiling. He's not joking, he believes this.

I sober up pretty quickly. He actually is crazy, and therefore potentially very dangerous. I pull myself back up and look down the road. I need to get away from him. But, how?

'Look this has been great, really. A nice little adventure and was pretty fun. But I need to get back now. My boyfriend will be wondering where I am.' I cringe at my words. I hate speaking of him like that, he's not my boyfriend anymore, but right now a protective figure (even only in theory) may be the most useful thing he's ever done for me however unpleasant. 

'Robyn, I know you've split up. I know he's left you again. I also know that you don't want to go back to that house right now anymore than I want to take you back there.' He mutters irritably. I stare at him, now quite scared. This isn't just a regular nutjob, it's a well-researched and informed nutjob. 'Let me just explain. Listen to what I have to say, and if you still want to go, you can. Just not back to your house. It's not safe, I'll take you anywhere else.' He finishes. I continue to stare at him, at a loss to the best course of action. I go through my limited options: listen and then hope he'll let me go or make a run for it and possibly piss him off and risk a reappearance of those wings and the angry face. 

'Go for it' I say.

Ethan relaxes, happy with my current compliance. 'OK. As I was saying, we're from another planet...' I manage to keep my face neutral. '...Our planet's in a far off solar system, thousands of years older than this one and more advanced technologically although with a simpler way of life than Earth has now; a pure democracy with equality between the Angels. There were elected council members to lead us but everyone lived peacefully and for the greater good of the community. Not just because there was no currency or wealth to fuel selfish needs, but because it's not in an Angel's nature to want more than any other. Simple people with simple desires but advanced technology and understanding of ourselves. Medicine for every ailment. No disease or famine. Transport systems, or spaceships, making it easy to traverse our huge planet (roughly the size of Jupiter in this solar system) and, in time, visit others. To learn their way of life and experience their cultures, a holiday I suppose.'

'Like Earth?'

'Yes, Earth's actually a favourite because our species are so closely linked that we can blend into the human world easily. We think that for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years we've visited here, if the history books are anything to go by.'

'You have history books, detailing your holidays? Like journals or scrapbooks?' I ask, fascinated. 

Ethan laughs at my analogy. 'Not our history books...' I don't miss the strain on 'our' there. '...Human history books, or I suppose more specifically Holy Books, like the Bible.'

'You're telling me that the people of that planet are in the Bible?' I question. Even he must know he's pushing it too far now.

'Sure, lots of mentions of angels in the Bible' he smiles at me as I stare back shocked, but recover quickly. I'm not sure that much more can shock me at this point.

'I thought you said that angel isn't the technical term?'

'No it's not. But the humans needed something to call us. I never really got the whole feathered-wings thing though...' Ethan ponders.

'I suppose a bird was the closest thing to a human flying.' I respond, immediately chastising myself Good job Reed, add fuel to the crazy fire.  'What is the technical term?' I quickly continue. 

'To be honest we're not too sure' I raise an eyebrow. 'Yes I know, does sound like a massive hole in the story, but a lot has been lost.' Before I can jump in on that comment he continues: 'The best way to explain what we are in human terms is probably Darwin's theory of evolution. Have you heard of it?'

'Sure, the strongest animals evolve over thousands of years to better suit their surroundings and life. The strongest survive while the weakest die off.'

'Right. Well we think that the strongest of us somehow learnt about this part of ourselves and learnt to harness it over time.'

'Big, fat energy wings are hardly in the same category as a giraffe growing a longer neck to reach the trees. Sounds like magic to me, not science.'

'You'd call a giraffe's neck tripling in size, science?'

'Compared to sprouting wings that aren't even organic? Yeah!' 

'They are different worlds, millions of miles apart. We're built differently Robyn, is it really that unbelieveable?'

I considered this. To be honest, I didn't know what to think. I didn't immediately disbelieve it though.

'So you're here visiting?' I ask.

'No, I was a sleeper until a few years ago. Nobody visits from the home planet anymore.'

'A sleeper?'

'An Angel, the term has kind of stuck, that hasn't woken up to what it is yet.'

'Like I did yesterday.'

'Yep, exactly.' Ethan looks at me smiling.

'What brought on the change?'

'It's different for everyone. We just know that it happens in the late teens and is brought on by a certain level of self-discovery or conviction.'

'Oh' I muttered, thinking hard about what had happened just before the whole episode began. I'd finally closed the door on Leo, maybe the two were connected. The need to fly came out of nowhere, I was sure of that. 'What triggered your change?' I asked, remembering him mentioning going through the same process himself. Ethan's face closes down, the coldest I've ever seen it. 'It's OK, you don't have to tell me'  I quickly say, unable to stand the look in his eyes. He relaxes. 

'So what's the plan now? Gather us all up and return home in the mothership?' I joke.

'No Robyn, we can't do that.'

'Oh. Why are there so many sleepers here anyway? Surely younger ones should be on their home planet. Or is like an exchange program?'

'We're here because we didn't have a choice.'

'What do you mean?'

'Our home planet is gone Robyn'

'Gone?'

'Destroyed, just over 18 years ago. The Angels on this planet? We're all that's left.'

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