The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1i)

Chapter 1i.

From Yoshiasu’s flat the collected data were sent to the crime labs. Detective Harrows talked to the neighbors; fortunately one of the ladies remembered a bulky man with strong jaws and bushy eyebrows who was dragging a stumbling young man. She gave the police the best description she could, adding some important clues to the already piling data.

Just as he expected, the lab results confirmed some of the detective’s suspicions; the blood belonged to Fuyuki but the body fluid and the unknown fingerprints lead them to a man named Jack Rogers. The guy was known to have a record of violent behavior and a number of domestic violence complaints. Each time he escaped justice because his wife wasn’t willing to testify against him.

Then, searching deeper in this guy’s personal history, detective Harrows found the piece of information he needed for the whole picture. Jack Roger had three children: a girl and two boys. His wife died years ago and the now grown-up children moved out from the family house. But in its early years of the past the Roger family had had a sixth member: a little boy named…Fuyuki. The child was reported missing when he was about five years old and he was never found. There were rumors about Jack Roger being the culprit in the child’s disappearance but despite all efforts police couldn’t find solid evidence against him.

Detective Harrows was getting seriously worried: this was definitely a dangerous guy and Fuyuki’s life was hanging on a thread.

Police traced down the Roger siblings and asked them about their father’s whereabouts but they knew almost nothing. Since they have left the family they were in no contact with him. As for their former brother, all they knew was that he had disappeared and that he was probably dead. Their old home was probably deserted and locked up. Dead end.

But neither the detective, nor Yoshiasu were giving up. Yoshiasu contacted the Roger siblings and asked them to meet him. He waited for them at the hotel where he stayed. The first who came was Janice, a pleasant looking woman in her early thirties. Despite her calm composure, Yoshiasu was able to detect that there was something bothering her deep inside. The two brothers, Peter and Michael arrived together; they were more restrained and distant. Yoshiasu invited them to  have a seat and placed some juice and coffee on the table; this looked like a difficult meeting for all of them.

Janice and her two brothers sat in silence, watching and listening to Yoshiasu. He took out two photos and handed them out.

-This is Fuyuki, your brother. The first picture was taken at the hospital shortly after I found him dumped in Central Park. The other photo was taken while he was living in my flat. Help me find him! Please!!!

Watching them Yoshiasu could see horror and disbelief washing over each of the three faces. The young men looked skeptical but Janice was deeply touched and troubled by what she has just seen. She was still holding the photos when Peter, the elder brother spoke:

-I’m sorry to disappoint you. I don’t think we can help you. We’ve already told to the police: our little brother died when he was about five years old. Our father was a strict person, there’s not much love lost between us but I’m sure he has nothing to do with this. So, you have to excuse us but we have nothing else to say.

The two men stood up ready to go when Janice broke the silence.

-SIT DOWN!- she said firmly.

-Janice?!!!

-I said sit down! You know nothing because you were too young at the time. You Peter, you were 7 at the time and Michael was 6; but I…I remember everything.

I’m sorry Mr. Tanaka that I never had the courage to speak about this, but now I’m ready to come clear with everything.

Peter and Michael watched her in disbelief. It was clear that they knew nothing and that they dreaded what might come out of their older sister’s recounting.

-Fuyuki was in fact our first cousin. His mother was our mom’s favorite sister. She died in childbirth, while the baby’s father died previously in a car accident. They loved each other but they didn’t have the chance to marry because of the accident, so Fuyuki was…an illegitimate child. Mother insisted that we take him in our family, much to our father’s displeasure. He has hated his sister-in-law but after à while he  gave in to mom’s pleas.

-Fuyuki was a beautiful baby and he grew into an even lovelier child. He was a very good child, mild, pleasant and cheerful. Everybody loved him…except father. Day by day he came harder and harder on him. Despite that, Fuyuki loved him and never disobeyed him.

And while Peter and Michael liked boy’s rough-and-tumble, Fuyuki spent most of his time in the garden, watching the butterflies and drawing them. He was gifted- a real talent.

Janice stopped for a moment; she fumbled through her wallet and took out a small, yellow piece of paper folded in four. She handed it to Yoshiasu; he unfolded it and almost cried out: it was one of Fuyuki’s butterfly drawings.

-Keep it-said Janice. I had kept it since that horrible night when Fuyuki…disappeared from our family.

I was ten years old so I clearly remember everything. I wasn’t very sleepy that night and I was thirsty, so I went down to the kitchen to pour myself some water. I walked in silence not to disturb the others when I heard father’s voice in Fuyuki’s room. The door was cracked open so I hid and watched what was happening. Father was towering above poor Fuyuki, holding the belt in his hands. Fuyuki was sobbing. Father was telling him that it was about time that he paid for all he’s got from the family…then he ordered him to get naked. He stood there with that evil smile over his face and…

Janice’s voice dropped. She stood silently for a moment then took a deep breath and continued:

-Our father…raped our five years old brother. I was so frighten that I couldn’t move so I had to watch and listen to all. For years Fuyuki’s screams and cries haunted me. I don’t remember how I got back my room; but I remember seeing him as he carried Fuyuki’s body in a blanket to the backyard. We had an old shed that our father kept  as his “personal headquarters”. Nobody dared to go there, not even mom. It was strictly forbidden.

The next day, father declared that Fuyuki was in the hospital and then we never spoke about him again. That was the day when mom stopped smiling and from that moment, her health slowly declined. Night after night,I kept hearing her crying. I married early and escaped from the hell. Mother died a little bit later. The boys moved out eventually, leaving our ”honest businessman” father alone in his fortress. He lives now in different places but we don’t keep in touch.

This is the TRUTH and I’m ready to testify against this monster that happens to be our father.

-Janice!! You can’t!- protested the boys.

-The hell I can’t! I can and I will! I don’t blame you if you don’t support me; you were too young and you knew nothing. But I knew and I loved Fuyuki and I couldn’t save him when I was a child.

Now I’m a grown-up and I won’t let father destroy my baby-brother entirely. This man is a vampire feeding on the innocents! Mr. Tanaka!-she said turning to Yoshiasu. This is my card; give it please to detective Harrows and tell him: he can call me anytime for any help. Please, hurry! Find my brother and bring him back to me. I miss him so much and for so long!

Yoshiasu left the Roger siblings to set things between them and hurried to catch the detective at work. They talked on the phone and Yoshiasu sent the data via internet. Soon after that,  detective Harrows set the search for Fuyuki and Jack Rogers in motion.

Jack Roger was put on nationwide pursuit and he was finally cornered in his hometown. The neighbors spotted him at his old house late at night; police caught him and searched the house and the whole backyard thoroughly. They found a lot of incriminating evidence of what the “honest businessman” was doing but Fuyuki was nowhere to find. Evidently, Jack Roger wasn’t eager to speak either. At the enquiries he kept smirking and saying:

-You won’t find him! Never! He’s mine!

Desperate, Yoshiasu called Janice and asked her to come down to the city to help them in the search. First hours of the morning she was already there and met Yoshiasu and the police. They kept searching for clues together. Returning there after à long time, Janice looked around and sighed:

-What a dreadful place…I never thought I’d come back here.

-Do you have any idea about a hiding place?-asked the detective. Until now, we couldn’t find anything.

-Let me see-said Janice. Things have changed here, at least some of them. Let me recall the old days, maybe I’ll come up with something.

-Please go around as you wish. But remember, time is short. Your father is in our custody for two days now which means that Fuyuki is in danger of dehydration or running out of oxygen-said the detective.

Janice took the visibly shaken Yoshiasu with her and made a quick tour of the house then they went out in the backyard. The old shed had been demolished and the whole place was leveled. Only a couple of small molds lay scattered in the yard and there was nothing else to be seen. Janice paced up and down, brows furrowed in deep concentration…Suddenly she shouted:

-Bring a police dog here! Quickly! This is where the entrance to the cellar under the old shed was. I clearly remember the tree from the opposite side of the fence to be in line with that. I’ve been here once and got caught and I cannot forget the spank Father gave me for meddling around his “private space”!

The dog was brought to the spot and in a short while, he became restless and whined, trying to dig in. People gathered and with collective effort, they unraveled the cellar door that was hidden under the  bricks of grass. The row of stairs was dark and the air was stale but breathable. The molds seen from the outside were in fact camouflaged air holes from where the entire underground facility was continuously aired. It was the dog that led them to the door of a particular room. It was locked from outside but they broke in. There was a commuter near the door-frame and they turned up the light.

Fuyuki was inside, tied to the bed and blindfolded. His breath was shallow and he had already lost conscience. Detective Harrows called for the paramedics to come as close as possible; he then untied the young man, lifted him up and carried him out.

-He’s alive, thanks God!- he shouted to Yoshiasu and Janice,  who were anxiously waiting in the yard. Go to the hospital! I’ll be there later!

The paramedics took  Fuyuki and put him an IV and an oxygen mask. Janice and  Yoshiasu  followed the ambulance in her car.

It took Fuyuki three days after being rushed to the hospital to regain his senses. Re- hydrated, rebalanced, sedated into a deep sleep to aid the recovery, he was was waking up totally confused. Through his eyelids he could sense that it was light around him and the air was clear and it smelled differently.

There were also muffled sounds around and he had the distinct feeling of not being alone in the room. Uncertain about his whereabouts, Fuyuki wasn’t willing to open his eyes. He tried to pick up the thread of his memory from the last tangible event. Well, those were disturbing events but at least they were certainties. The last customers came in pair and they played a cruel game of cat-and- mouse with him, until confused and totally shattered he fainted. After that, there were scattered moments of feverish state and darkness, agonizing thirst and deadly silence. For a split second Fuyuki hoped that he had died and that he was in a place beyond any more hurt.

But somewhere deep inside him, the grain of light refused to die out. It was the only light that had kept him alive  those days and weeks of horror. Yoshiasu’s name and the memory of his love erupted in his mind and Fuyuki burst into tears.

He woke up sobbing violently and shaking. He curled into fetal position, burying his face into the pillow. He was unable to control the flow of feelings and he was struggling to catch his breath. A hand touched him gently and the voice speaking him was soft and soothing:

-Fuyuki, stop crying. I’m here; you’re safe now. Fuyuki, please…

Fuyuki turned up brusquely, eyes wide of shock. Yoshiasu was sitting on the edge of the bed and caught his hands.

-Your father is in police custody; he cannot hurt you anymore! Never!

He embraced Fuyuki and held him close; the younger man was trying to understand what his love was saying. His sobs subsided a little and he buried his face in Yoshiasu’s shoulder whispering:

-I’m sorry…I’m sorry…I’ve tried…I’m sorry…Oh,God!…Don’t leave me, please…

-I AM SORRY!-said Yoshiasu almost shouting. I have promised to protect you and I wasn’t there when you needed me! You have to forgive ME…

-You were with me…in my mind…my only hope…

Yoshiasu sighed and squeezed Fuyuki. He wasn’t sure how much emotion could the fragile young man handle but he had to give a try; Janice was waiting for a chance to meet her little brother again after so much time.

-Fuyuki, there is someone who actually helped us to find you in the underground cell. She is waiting outside to see you. Do you think you can handle it?

-I…I think so-he nodded. His eyes lit up as he saw the woman.

-Ja…niss…-he murmured and took a deep breath.

Janice swallowed hard but it was no use; tears were running freely down her cheeks as she rushed to embrace and kiss Fuyuki.

-How?! How did you know?!-she asked incredulously.

-Your eyes and your smile are still the same, sis.

-And you’re as kind and beautiful as ever, baby-brother. Oh, how I longed to see you again…

Walk a Dream-Chapter 10. Epilogue

Chapter 10.

  She was shivering, shaken by an inner fever. The memory of the night was still fresh in her mind and as she pushed herself slowly off the cold surface, conflicting emotions washed over her. For long minutes, she was penduling between an intoxicating elation and an unexplainable panic. She has fallen in love and that love lived in the no man’s land between dream and reality. How can anyone keep its sound mind in such circumstances?

   But this love wasn’t meant to last; Kai knew it well. The more she learned about Jordan, the clearer it became that she, the average girl in front of a mirror was meant only to be the dream-holder and rememberer. Something was abruptly changing in the life of her unexpected soul-twin and they were both running out of time.  “But what was that change?”-wondered Kai. There was no one to answer that question now… Kai took a deep breath and decided to join the reality of the morning.

   The night came under the auspices  of the Peach Moon. I saw it rising cautiously above the dark line of the hills. The sky was spotless and deep blue. The faintly glowing pink contour emerged gradually and soon we were facing each other, the Moon and I. It looked at me with its saddened face, with that silent cry frozen on its face for eons. Its eyes were crying invisible tears and my heart sank in despair.

I’ve ran to the gates breathlessly! The world behind them was dead silent and hollow. The forest was emptied of footprint memories, emptied of laughter echoes, emptied of innocence…The spells of the Wizard had been scattered by a chilling wind of forgetfulness. Gone were the mermaids and shores, gone the stellar abyss of swirling light and love….The leaves of poetry were growing only in my heart by now. The Blue trees retracted in the void and I couldn’t reach them anymore. I fell to my knees crying…Then I remembered the house. Maybe, just maybe Joren was still there! I jumped to my feet and sped towards the house in the mist.

 As soon as she reached the premises, Kai knew that hopes for finding anyone around were thin. The house felt just as empty as the space surrounding it. The girl cautiously opened the door and passed along the corridors until she reached that special door. Before she could touch it, the door flew open and Tyler’s angry face looked at Kai, shouting:

-You’re late! They’re all gone!!! No one is here anymore!! No one!!!

His breath was freezing cold and Kai stepped back for a moment. The pain inside, the sense of loss built up inside her pushed to the surface and she felt her entire being crack under the pressure. Her final armor shattered, liberating her true being. Tyler had already vanished into thin air and all she was left with was à dim glow in the distance and the sound of little ringing bell. Jordie’s bell. The girl launched herself towards that spot of light, flying with wings of flames like a Phoenix.

-Jordie! -she shouted. Wait for me!

Fueled by her heated emotions, she crossed the warping space and caught the globe of light before it reached the wormhole between the two connected worlds.

-Stop! -she yelled. Stay for a moment! Talk to me! Don’t leave all my questions unanswered!

Cling! Cling! The little bell echoed in her ears and for à moment, she felt  two small arms encircling her neck.

-Don’t be upset, nice Kai! I have to go now! They are waiting for me.

Kai held him till he dissipated, giggling and Joren’s face emerged in the light.

-We have to go, Kai. Jordan is about to wake up. Hisher healing journey is now complete, thanks to your help too. We were all bits and pieces painstakingly brought together in long time, to mend the spirit of Jordan. Himher will be whole again as heshe will regain consciousness. Remember us, Kai! When the dream will end, nothing and no one will be the same as before.

As the last words reverberated in the space, an invisible hand touched gently Kai’s tearful face. She recognised the touch and she recognised the kiss. It tasted like summer vine.

“ Goodbye, girl”-whispered the voice inside her mind. “Don’t forget me…”

The ball of light touched the boundary of worlds and exploded with a thunderous blast. The connection collapsed and Kai crash landed in her bed. On the other side of the world, a young woman woke up all of a sudden in her hospital bed.

  She gasped and shook her head, then relaxed. She recognised her family members and her doctor. She couldn’t remember the reason of being in hospital; she was feeling well and in one piece.

-Did I miss something?-asked Jordan, raising an eyebrow. I feel like I slept for a hundred years. It was fine but I would like to go home now. May I, doctor?

   Everyone burst into relieved laughter; Jordan was himherself again.

 

EPILOGUE

    I have walked a dream like no other and my heart was captured, my spirit released and liberated. I am myself more than I ever was. The love I encountered was brief but intense and it lives inside me, imprinted deeply in my soul along with all the magic it carried. I am a rememberer, a storyteller and a dreamer.

I’m not an ordinary girl anymore.

 Do I remember you? Of course I do! You’re the Magician who released the Wild Girl from my inner world. You found her, hiding in her Secret Garden and you opened the door, showing her the way. You’ve let her follow you, believe in you, trust you and in the end, fall in love with you. Was it something planned? I doubt….But you and I, we got caught up in our entangled wild dream. You and I, we found a love that could’ve been…if only we would’ve met in real life. So You have dreamt me and I continued that dream, finding you.

   Our love was swift, passionate, fiery, creative, all consuming….despite its illusory existence. You have broadened my horizon, deepened my inner world, enriched my emotional life. We have built a love like no other: both incredibly beautiful and maddeningly painful. This love cannot die. This love doesn’t want to die. This love is so much a part of me that denying it would mean to deny myself. I didn’t know how much of you has built itself inside me, until we both woke up and the wandering in our connected dream was over.

 After picking up all her shattered bits and pieces, the Wild Girl banged the gates of the Secret garden behind her and locked them. She lives there, wandering on the shores of the Ocean of Memories. I visit her sometimes and we talk through the bars of the gates. With you gone forever, she won’t come out anymore. But we both miss you sometimes; so we recall your face, the sound of your laughter, the  softness in your eyes….

   Dream over.

Walk in a Dream-waking up in someone else’s dream. Chapter 4.

Chapter 4.

She woke up crying, emotionally drained by the dream. She couldn’t understand. How can anyone do such thing to its child? Why? Why would you use your child as a battleground in a fight with your spouse? It’s senseless and cruel!

She got off the bed and pushed herself into the daily schedule, leaving the impressions of the night to sink deeper and to clear inside her mind. By the time she was sipping her coffee, she felt less vulnerable and she returned to her previous thoughts.

Maybe the parents themselves were a bit lost, not knowing how to react to the fact that they had a very special child. The world they were living was not prepared either and thus, answers or help in understanding how to deal with, were scarce if none at all. This was an important issue in the fragilisation of their connection. While their child needed love, acceptance and protection, both mother and father were desperately trying to “fix” reality according to their own vision. The result….

The girl shook her head in disbelief. The result was nothing less of a disaster. Peeling off the elements of fantasy, the final moments of the dream were speaking volumes about it. Somewhere in this world, a shattered soul was reaching out for help…

“So be it!”-though the girl and stood up to leave for work. She locked the door when she heard the little bell ringing….

~~

The sound was unmistakable; it was little Jordie’s belt bell. I’ve recognized it instantly. Was I truly awake or my dream was continuing? Could it be that the one dreaming it, found a way into my reality, warping it and changing it? The simple thought of such happening made me question my sanity.

So I’ve shrugged off the thought, took a few deep breaths and I walked out the door. No more bells ringing….

~~~

She woke up at the same hour, in the middle of the night, with a heavy heart. “What’s next?”-she thought, remembering the other night and the painful question in the eyes of the shattered teenager.

The room was dark and silent and her throat was sore of unexpected thirst. Half asleep, she dragged herself to the bathroom and let the cold water flow for a while. She poured a glass of water and gulped it up. Her eyes met the reflection in the mirror and she froze. At first, she saw herself, sleepy and ruffled but then, there was something new in that image. Something or….someone? Someone was with her in the mirror. Someone was inside her own image, someone whose image was overlapping hers. It was difficult to detect the changes but they eyes were darker, the look inside them, piercing , veiled only by the sheen of sleep in the girl’s eyes.

Then, the feeling became stronger. The more she looked inside those eyes, the stronger the feeling of entwining with someone else became inside her. She instinctively put a hand on her chest; something was moving inside, digging deep in the intimacy of her soul. Something was trying to nest inside her, to find a safe haven. Someone was moving with her, in her. She was herself and someone else as well.

Words appeared on the translucent screen of the mirror, written by an invisible hand: “ Do you remember me ?….”

~~~~~~~~~~~

What should I say? I stared in the eyes of the one(s) in the mirror.

-Help me to remember!-I said. Lead my way through this quest. I want to remember….

The mirror wobbled and I’ve found myself on a white surface, stretching endlessly in all directions into a dense, milky mist. I stood there, waiting….The silence of the place was almost tangible, the mist was slowly undulating in the distance. I closed my eyes and opening wide my arms, I tried to touch….something with my fingertips. In the mirror of my mind, I touched the one nested inside my soul. Its touch was warm and soft. Our fingers, our palms, our hands touched at both ends of the Infinity…Then “+” and ”-” collided in an embrace. I opened my eyes to gaze into the face of the one holding me.

-I’m glad you’re not running anymore!- he said with a playful smile. A youthful face with dark brown eyes, wearing a top hat and a black and red cape. A Magician. He took me by the hand and we stepped inside the forest. The pathway under our feet was covered by azure-blue grass, the leaves of the canopy were shimmering with a golden-yellow glow and a bluish mist was filling the in betweens of the tree trunks. I was mesmerized.

“ If this is a dream, then I don’t want to wake up anymore!”- I thought.

Walk in Dream-when you wake up in someone else’s dream. Chapter 3.

 This time the scenery was one of a solid family house, with flowerbeds in the front yard and a playground guarded by a magnificent cherry tree in the back. In deep contrast with the serenity of the place, the noises coming from inside were disturbing. The high pitched voice of the woman and the low baritone of the man were fighting furiously over something. After a few steps made in the direction of the house, the girl could see them well, standing in the room, facing each other. A silent and frightened child was standing between them, covering his ears with his hands.

-She’s my daughter, I want her to wear this ribbon in her hair! -shouted the mother. I want her to look pretty!

She dragged the child closer to her and she was about the tie the ribbon around the soft, hazelnut strands when the father intervened.

-She’s not more of a girl than he is a boy! Leave him alone! Come, Jordie, let’s go out. Here, I have a nice beret for you! I know these are your favorite colors!

He took the child by the hand and put the blue and green striped beret on his head. The mother watched him, shaking her head in disbelief.

-She’s my daughter….

-And he is my son- said dryly  the father.

 The child said nothing. He stood there, frozen in the wind of parental ambition, in the clash of wishes and wants, alone and scared. His tears were falling inwardly, in a world where he was safe and where he used to hide each time the tempest erupted around him. In that world, sounds were soft and people were friendly and no one pushed or dragged him, no one shouted at him for reasons he couldn’t comprehend. And while his parents continued to sneer and hiss at each-other, the child grew into the rebellious, wild teenager that was taking harder and harder the fights around him.

~~~~~~

In the incessant rumble of angry voices, the scenery changed like a fragment of an old movie on celluloid melting under the hot touch of passing Time. The room was that of a teenager, with posters, music, a guitar…other things scattered in a very personal chaotic order. The inhabitant of the room was standing in front of a tall mirror, dark brown eyes fixing their dark brown reflection in a mix of anger and despair.

  As much as I could see by now, it became clear that whoever that person in the mirror was, it wasn’t an average one. The changes in the outside, with their everyday challenges were matched by the complexity and elusiveness of its inner world. And the conflicts inside the house were just getting worse. The Jordie I’ve met was almost imperceptible inside the young person grabbing  the frame of the mirror and with him, gone were the carefree laughters and joys of the age of innocence. A sense of loss engulfed me as I was standing outside the room and I wished I could find a soothing word for the troubled young before me.

A wave of angry shouts surged from somewhere and I saw the one in the mirror cringing in pain.

-Stop!! Stop it!!-shouted to the quarreling adults. Stop arguing over me! Leave me out of this! I am who I say that I am!!!

  With an angry movement of the  fist it hit its own the reflection, shattering the mirror. The powerful blow brought Time to a halt, resulting in an awkward, slow motion dance of the glittering shards of glass…To my deep astonishment, each splinter of mirror was carrying à different face. There were faces of men, women, children of various ages and features, dancing in the light, reflecting bits and pieces of a soul that has been broken gradually in time….These were the faces of the ones inhabiting that hidden inner world and now, they were released into the daylight and scattered into a world that wasn’t their home.

  Just as quick, the motion reversed and the surface of the mirror wobbled, then quieted down, unharmed. The youth staggered, holding its pained fist. The mirror was intact. But it was empty. The pieces of the shattered child were gone. Heshe turned to me and I could read the question in the deep brown eyes:

-Do you remember me?

I woke up crying.