Butterfly Dreams

Butterfly Dreams
by Jessica Lawson

Summer holidays, only the best time for any half-normal socially active teenage girl. Jennifer was laying out on the patio in the new pink and white striped bikini she had just bought. Her eyes were closed, towel behind her head, water dripping down her shoulder length brown hair and her rust coloured lip-gloss, mirror and cellular telephone within reach.

Beep, beep, beep went the alarm on her watch. Her eyes opened. She rose to her feet, grabbed her cell phone, lip-gloss and mirror and opened the screen door to her house stepping into the living room and her nightmare.

You probably haven’t guessed it, but the lip-glossed social beautiful girl you probably pictured in your head lived a life no one could ever believe. Yes, she did have beautiful full shiny lips, perfect eyebrows and lashes, applied her makeup outstandingly, and had great choice of clothing and millions of friends. However perfect her life may seem at first, that one step through the little screen door was like the doorway between two worlds.

“Jennifer!” cried her mother from the living room. She knew she had to go in, Mom had heard her come in; there was no avoidance. The smell of smoke was so strong it almost knocked her out upon entering the living room.

“Get me my cigarettes off the kitchen table,” she said.

“Why don’t you get them yourself,” was Jennifer’s reply.

“You little brat I otta whack you one, go get those cigarettes now!”

Jennifer flipped her beautiful hair over her shoulder, turned and went to fetch her mom’s smokes. After handing them to her she went, got dressed, called a few friends then left for the movies. Upon coming home three hours later, Jennifer could hear the fight loud and clear but just ignored it and went to bed.

Her brother Jacob had said something to tick mom off and was getting it like usual. The last thing Jennifer heard was her brother yelling at their mother, “I’m gone next year Mom, do whatever you want to me but Jennifer doesn’t deserve what you put her through, she’s only 15 she still HAS to live with you . . .”

She closed her eyes and said her nightly prayers, “Dear God, what did I do to deserve a mother like I have? I wouldn’t be able to get by if Daddy didn’t send that money to me from wherever he is this week. It’s his fault. Before he left, Mom’s life was great . . . but now look — she’s a mess. I wish I was a butterfly, then I could fly away from here to somewhere special and bring Jacob with me. I could be free.”

That last sentence made all the difference. The next morning she could hear sounds, beautiful sounds not the usual threats and bangs about the house, but wind and water and she could smell lilies. Maybe Mom was back to normal; lilies were her favourite flowers.

She stood up to get out of bed, half-asleep, reached for the door, and then realised she was in a new world. It was weirdly rounded. She broke through the walls and saw she had been in a cocoon.

She spread her wings and seeing her brother on a branch up ahead flew up to see him. And together they flew away from the pain and frustration they left behind and flew into the magic world of butterfly dreams.

Jessica Lawson writes poetry and fiction. The 13-year-old is a member of the Miramichi Writers’ Group.