Novels & Novellas

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Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap.12)

Published November 17, 2009 by ladyserenity92

   My perfect world was coming to an end. My parents were divorcing; and now I was losing my cousin. In the sixteen years of life I had lived though the goodness and the ugliness of growing up. With the joy and pain of growing up, I had learned many lessons on what a teenage girl has to go through on the rollercoaster of adolescent life.

   When morning came, I awakened to a painful headache and puffy eyes. I had cried so much in my sleep after the fight I had with Cousin Ray. I thought about Mindy and how I blamed her for taking my cousin away from me. My Cousin Ray belong to me, and no one could take him away from me. As I rose up, I heard a gentle tap on the door. The opened and Daddy stepped inside.

“Hi, baby,” he greeted with a light smile.

“Hi, Daddy,” I answered with sadness.

Daddy came over to my bed and sat next to me. “Ray has the day off and he’s taking us to the beach. I would like for you to get ready. It’ll take your mind off the fight from last night.”

“I’m not going.”

Daddy sighed.  “I don’t want to argue with you, Butterfly. I know that you’re old enough to make your decisions, but I want you to make peace with your cousin and get over what conflict you have against him. Your cousin’s getting married next summer and he wants to tell you that he’s sorry for hurting you. I want you to apologize to him for your part in the conflict.  Ray loves you and deep down in your heart you love him, too. Just apologize to Ray and make peace with him. . When you’re ready to apologize to cousin, I’ll be downstairs waiting on you.”

   Daddy gave me a side hug and left me alone. After Daddy left, I started to reflect on what I had done. I knew down in my heart that I had to apologize to Ray. I got out of bed and got ready for the beach. I took a shower and put on my mermaid-pink swimsuit and sunscreen. For the last touch, I tied my brown hair back into a ponytail. I went downstairs and found Ray in the kitchen, having coffee and reading the newspaper. I looked at my cousin as he glanced my way. I took a moment on what to say to him. I found the words in my heart.

I came over to my cousin and faced him. “I’m sorry,” I said.

 Cousin Ray stood up and embraced me. “I forgive you too, honey,” he said.

   Later on, I joined my family downstairs in the den. Cousin Ray stepped in the front doorway. “I’m sorry, everyone,” he announced to us, “my car is too small and it can’t fit everyone inside. I have to go to the car rental dealership to rent a van. It’ll take an hour to get the van ready; please bear with me.” Jordan groaned at the news.

‘I’ll go with you, Ray.” Daddy volunteered, “I know a lot about cars and vans.”

   Cousin Ray ended up taking Daddy with him to the car rental dealership while we kids stayed with Miss Carla back at the house. To ease the time, Miss Carla entertained us with stories and songs. Miss Carla gave us lemonade to drink. An hour later, Cousin Ray and Daddy came back with the van. “I’ve got the van,” Cousin Ray called, “let’s rock!” We cheered as we raced out the door and hopped into the van. We waved goodbye to Miss Carla as we drove away.

Along the way, Cousin Ray made a u-turn up the road that lead to an apartment building. Cousin Ray drove up to the building and parked the van in the parking lot. Turning his head to me, he said, “Butterfly, I want you to go to the intercom box and press the button to apartment 315. Just ask for Mindy.”

I was in disbelief. “Mindy’s—“

“Yes, she’s coming with us. Now move along.”

I unfastened my seatbelt and slid open the van door. I stepped outside and walked over to the front door. When I approached the door, I saw the intercom box. The box had buttons and the apartment numbers of the people who lived in the building. I scanned for apartment number 315. I found the number and Mindy’s name and pressed the button. The button made an electric buzzing sound

“Yes?” a female voice answered over the intercom.

“Is Mindy here?” I replied. “My Cousin Ray’s come to take her to the beach.”

“Hang on a minute. I’ll tell her that you’re here.”

As I waited, I studied my time tables in my head. I almost made it to 8×14 when I saw Mindy through the glass frame of the door. Mindy opened the door and appeared in front of me. Mindy wore a blue swimsuit with a scarf wrapped around her waist. She wore opened-toe sandals and carried a big picnic basket. Sticking out her arm to me, she spoke in a British accent, “Your grace, take me to your carriage.” I locked my arm with hers and walked her over to the van. As we stepped inside the van, Ray examined Mindy from head to toe and couldn’t help but blush at her beauty.

“Hi, Mindy,” Ray spoke. “You look as lovely as a rose in a garden.

Mindy scoffed. “Honey, I’m twenty-eight years old. I’m more beautiful than any flower in a garden of weeds.” We buckled our seatbelts as Cousin Ray started the car.


   During the ride to the beach, Mindy held a conversation with us.  Mindy was getting along with my family. T.R. and Jordan asked Mindy how our cousin proposed to her. Mindy told them that she and Cousin Ray were at a mini-golf course with some co-workers. After the game was over, Cousin Ray ordered some nachos to split with her. Eating the nachos, Mindy bit something hard.  Mindy spat into her napkin and saw that it was a sapphire ring. And the rest was history. We laughed in unison at the story. I began to like Mindy for her spirit. Mindy was the right choice for my cousin to have as a wife. I got a chance to talk to Mindy and found out that she wasn’t the mean person I thought she was. My jealousy was fading away from my heart.

Mindy watched me from the corner of her eye and knew what was happening to me. “Thank you for being kind to me, Butterfly,” she said. “I’m happy that you have finally accepted me into your family.” I was happy to get to know Mindy. For the rest of the trip, I felt happy.


   Out of my window, I saw the beach. With the ocean and the waves crashing along the shoreline, it was like seeing a 3-D picture coming to life. Cousin Ray drove into the parking lot to park the van.  When Cousin Ray finally found a parking space, Mindy and my family were glad with relief. After my cousin parked the van, I leaped out of the van and raced with T.R. and Jordan to the ocean. We took our time walking to the ocean since the sandbank was too hot for us to run. I raced my brother and sister to the ocean, shouting, “Last one’s in a skunk in a bunk!”  . I drove into the water head first into the water as T.R. and Jordan jumped in after me. In the water, I saw Mindy, Daddy and Cousin Ray setting up a spot on the shore.

  As Mindy placed her picnic basket down on the blanket, Cousin Ray picked her up in his arms and started carrying her toward the ocean. Mindy fought my cousin, struggling. “Let me go, you dim-dim!” she demanded. Cousin Ray got into the water, with Mindy still in his arms.

Mindy cried, “Ray, Don’t!”

Cousin Ray smiled. “Goodbye, Mindy.”

In a split second, my cousin threw his fiancée into the water. Mindy leaped up out of the water like a daffodil in the springtime. Before she could chew my cousin out, a juggernaut ocean wave hit her from behind and knocked her back into the water. Mindy got up again to see Cousin Ray laughing at her.

“You jerk,” Mindy shouted, “I’ll get you for that!”

   Mindy tried to push Cousin Ray in the water. With a quick mind, Cousin Ray grabbed Mindy’s arm and fell into the water with him. Cousin Ray and Mindy jumped out of the water and laughed together. T.R. and Jordan laughed at the scene. I laughed with them. I took a glance at Cousin Ray and Mindy. I saw Mindy kiss my cousin on his left ear and whispering sweet overtures into it. I remember whispering into Cousin Ray’s left ear and kissing it. It was the same ear that my cousin was deaf in.

   When he was a boy, Ray was with some friends on a school field trip on the beach.  In the middle of a conversation with his friends, he saw a girl drowning in the ocean. Ray dove in and rescued the girl. Ray saved the girl; two days later, he caught a cold and suffered an ear infection that caused him to lose his hearing in his left ear. Instead of feeling sorry for being half-deaf, Ray developed a ‘trick’ that he often uses to this day.

   When someone whispers into his left ear, Cousin Ray feels the vibration that is felt within the tone. With a pen and paper, he writes down what was said to him and answers the reply right back.  Cousin Ray was thirteen when he started the trick. He has done it for 16 years.  Cousin Ray only told a few close people about his secret. Before the announcement, I whispered into my cousin’s left ear, “Ray Quidame, I’ll love you ‘til the day I die. Now and forever.”

And my cousin would think of what to say to me. He took his time to give his reply. Cousin Ray found it. He leaned forward to my ear and gave me an ear kiss that made my heart melt.

“Now we’re even,” was his reply.

The ‘forever’ that I hoped for would never come true.

   Later on in the day, it was time to eat. Mindy’s basket was stuffed with food that she made herself. Mindy was an Iron Chef. There were sandwiches, rice balls, pickles; devilled eggs, donuts, peach cobbler, lemonade and iced tea. It was a smorgasbord of cold food for a hot summer day.

“I took up cooking lessons at the community college,” Mindy confessed. “I remember having to make lunch for my class. The best part of getting married is that I get to try my cooking skills on my man and my family on the holidays. Well, don’t just stare at my food, let’s eat!”

  We did what Mindy told us and ate to our heart’s content. At first I wouldn’t like the food Mindy made. After a few bites, I was eating like a queen. After the cold lunch, we went for a walk along the shore. On our walk, we saw seashells that were pretty as jewels. Daddy told us that we could pick up a few to take home with us. I noticed a hermit crab crawling out of its shell. The shell was white with purple spots on it. I bent down to the hermit crab and told it, “I know you don’t mind me taking your old home away from you. I hope that your new home will be nicer than this one was. Thank you.”

  I have a habit of talking to animals. When I was a kid, I met a Buddhist monk at a Buddhist temple. I was with a tour group, doing a report on Buddhism. The monk told me that every living animal has a living spirit within them. I was haunted by the monk’s words. Over the years, I became a vegetarian. After the summer ended, I became a full-fledged vegetarian. I can eat whatever I want as long as it doesn’t have a soul. In my opinion, killing animals for food or sport is wrong. I still miss meat, but my family has gotten used to me not eating meat with them.

  On our way, we stopped at a photo booth. We decided to take pictures in the booth. At first Cousin Ray declined to have his picture taken.

“Ray-Gun, please don’t do this to us,” Mindy pleaded, “just do this for me. And please smile.”

Cousin Ray gave in and went through with it.

  The pictures cost a dollar for four takes. I took a picture with T.R. and Jordan first. The grown-ups were second. Then we split up in groups. I took a photo with Daddy, T.R. and Jordan, and Cousin Ray taking a picture with Mindy; it went on like this until everyone had their picture taken. On the last picture, we had to cram into the photo booth. We smiled as our pictures were being taken. After the photos, we went to the Seven-Eleven and brought some sodas and two beers for Mindy and Daddy. Cousin Ray rarely drinks alcoholic beverages, except on special occasions. The last time my cousin drank was at a tavern in Charleston. My cousin remembered the time his was drunk and got into a fight with another man for bullying him and his friends. Cousin Ray got sick and threw up in the tavern.

My cousin has drunk in moderation ever since.

  The sun was setting and we were all feeling sleepy. Cousin Ray decided that it was time for us to go home. We got into the van and drove back home. During the trip home, I looked at the pictures of my family and myself. One of the pictures that made me look over was that of Cousin Ray and Mindy. Mindy and Cousin Ray were just being like any ordinary couple in love. On the last photo, Cousin Ray was giving Mindy a kiss on her cheek.

  I remembered back on what my cousin said about being free to kiss any woman in the world and not having to marry her like people had back in 14th century Italy. But this wasn’t 14th century Italy, this was 21st century America. My cousin was kissing a woman he was going to marry and there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening or change his mind.

  Cousin Ray drove Mindy back to her apartment. Cousin Ray got out of the van and opened the door for Mindy. Mindy got out as Cousin Ray walked her to the front door. Out the window, I saw them talking and laughing.

‘I had a great time, Ray-Gun,” Mindy said kindly.

Cousin Ray was reddening when he talked.

“Anytime, my dear,” was my cousin’s reply.

“I can’t believe that we’re getting married next summer and moving to Atlanta in the autumn. A new life together; we’re so young.”

Cousin Ray sighed deeply. “I know. I’ve known you for years, Mindy. You were my best friend, and now you’re going to be my wife. I never planned to fall in love with you. What do you think our marriage with come out of?”

Mindy took a brief moment to speak.

“I’m not sure if they’ll be time for a family where we’re going. We’ll be so busy with our new jobs and all; I’m not sure having a baby would be possible. We’re young and the long hours at work. I’m just not ready to be a mother just yet.”

“We’ll just put off having a family for a year and just focus on our careers. You don’t have to worry, my honey.”

“Bullcrap! I’ve heard that same phrase from many guys thousands of time.”

   Cousin Ray swept Mindy off her feet and into his arms. Cousin Ray placed Mindy’s back against the door, dipped her just a midway and kissed her. Mindy embraced Cousin Ray and gave in to the rapture. After the kiss, Mindy told Cousin Ray goodnight. She gave him one last kiss before going inside. Cousin Ray said goodnight as Mindy went inside for the night.

   Cousin Ray smiled as he walked back to the van. I saw the glow upon his face. It was the glow of love. As Cousin Ray got inside, he glanced at me.

“I can’t help that I love her more than you,” he told me. “Butterfly, I’ll always love you as my dear sweet cousin. You’ll always be my cousin. I’ll wait the day when I’ll see you and your family at the wedding.”

“Yes,” I answered. “Next summer—-“

“July 4th.”

“Your birthday, why?”

“No reason. Just a day I love so much ever since I came to America. Next year I’ll become a US citizen. I’ve just began to experience life, now I’ve going to live it to the fullest. I’ve been studying to get my citizenship for so many years now. Now it’s going to happen. I’m a man of two worlds; Canada and America.”

I fell asleep after Cousin Ray spoke to me. It was that Daddy woke me up that we were back at the house. Still sleepy, I struggled to walk inside. Inside, I went upstairs to bed. I opened the door to my bedroom and stepped inside. I focused my eyes on an envelope on my bed. Miss Carla somehow had somehow went into my room and placed the envelope on my bed. There was a sticky note on the envelope from Miss Carla:

Your friend Anna came by today. I told her that you were at the beach with your family. She seemed very sad when she gave me the note. Her eyes were red and she sounded very tried. I asked her what was the matter was; she just told me to give you this note. It isn’t like Anna to be sad like this since she met you. I don’t know what’s happened to her. Please read this letter in the morning.

Miss Carla

  I peeled the sticky note off the envelope. Written on the front of the envelope was: To Butterfly Taylor, From Anna Knight.

  A dark cloud was creeping around me as I held Anna’s letter. I turned on the light as I ripped opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. I begin reading Anna’s letter.

To be continued/Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow(chap.10)

Published October 25, 2009 by ladyserenity92

For the rest of the morning Anna hung around. The reason for this was Anna’s brother was at work and wouldn’t be home until late in the evening. The divorce was heavy on my mind and the minds of my brother and sister. Jordan couldn’t watch cartoons, and T.R. played with Potato and Smokie to ease her mind. We were in our own world of childhood.

Saturday to me was one of the most boring days that the weekend offered. The four of us sat on the porch until noon. We heard the front door open and close. We stopped what we were doing and saw Cousin Ray.

Cousin Ray told us, “I know a secret place we can go to.”

We studied Cousin Ray, believing that he was pulling our leg. Cousin Ray read our minds by the looks on our faces.

“It isn’t anything weird or inappropriate,” he continued, “It’s just a place that I always come to when I’m down. I shared this place with no one; now I’m sharing it with you kids. What do you say?” We wanted to see the secret place Cousin Ray was talking about. Without a second thought, we decided to go with Cousin Ray to his secret place.

     It took us three blocks to get to the secret place. Before we left, Cousin Ray made T.R. leave her pocket phone behind. We were sad that Potato and Smokie couldn’t come along with us, but they understood.

   When we got to the secret place, it was like a Southern castle. The castle was really a mansion that was abandoned many years ago. The mansion had a white picket fence all around the yard. Opening the gate, Cousin Ray showed us the front porch. The front porch had a porch swing.  In the backyard was a magnolia tree with a swing on its branch. To the left of the yard was a peach tree with real peaches that were the size of snow globes.

   Inside the mansion was a love seat, a couch and a working harpsichord that still worked, in spite of the fact that it was old. Above our heads was a crystal chandelier. The five of us explored the mansion from the staircase, to the bedroom; everywhere we wanted to see. Cousin Ray looked at us and asked, “So, what do you think about my secret place?”

Anna looked at Cousin Ray and smiled. She answered,” It’s remarkable!”


    All afternoon, we had a party. We took turns on the tree swing, reaching for the magnolia flower that was on the branch. On the porch swing, as the swing swayed, it gave way and broke. We laughed at what happened. Next, Cousin Ray showed us how to make flower wreaths to go upon our heads. Cousin Ray told T.R., Anna and me that if we placed the wreaths under our pillow at night and sleep on the pillow, would have dreams of our future husbands.

“I want to have a doctor for a husband, just like my daddy.” T.R. announced, placing the wreath on her head.

“Yeah. A gynecologist who’s a skirt chaser.” Anna joked lightheartedly.

We laughed at Anna’s joke. I scoffed.

“Well, my husband (or wife) will be whatever they want to be, as long as they can cook and clean when I come home from work.”

Cousin Ray was stunned. “Wife, Butterfly?”

   Jordan placed his wreath on the ground. “When I grow up, I’m never getting married and having kids.” Jordan turned to Anna and asked her, “What will your husband be, Anna?” With the wreath on her head, Anna replied,” Whatever he will be.” Outside, the five of us did a Maypole dance under the magnolia tree(either though it was July.) As the day winded down, we went over to the peach tree and took ten peaches off the branch to snack on.

    Inside the mansion, Cousin Ray played his guitar and I played the harpsichord. As the music played, I sang ‘Such Sweet Sorrow.’ As I sang, fresh tears came into my eyes. I thought about being seven years old and Cousin Ray singing me that song. After the song ended, we heard Anna crying. I saw her hiding her face in her hands, sobbing. I noticed a digital tape recorder next to her. I went over to Anna, just as T.R. and Jordan comforted her. I scooted down and placed my hand on Anna’s shoulder.

“Anna,” I began, “I know it’s a sad song. You have a right to cry, Sweetie.”

Anna dried her eyes and gazed up at me. “It’s not that the song is sad,” she explained. “It’s just that I’m happy. It was such a beautiful song. Could I trouble you with a request?” Anna was looking at Cousin Ray when she asked.

“Whatever you want, sweetheart.” was Cousin Ray’s reply.

“Could you play ‘Never my love’ and this time may I sing and T.R. play the harpsichord? Just this once?”

    I saw the digital recorder beside Anna and thought about the ‘request’. Back then, I didn’t understand Anna’s request. After she left, I finally knew the truth of her request.

Cousin Ray studied Anna’s face and came to a decision.

“Request granted”, Cousin Ray smiled.

   I let T.R. take my place on the chair in front of the harpsichord. T.R. was a wiz on the piano at our family’s apartment. Although I play both the guitar and the piano combined, it was nothing compared to my little sister’s key work. Anna stood up to join my sister and Cousin Ray. Anna stood next to T.R. and held the device in her hand like a microphone. T.R. and Cousin Ray began the music, as Anna stared to sing:

You ask me if there’ll come a time,

when I’ll grow tried of you.

Never my love

Never my love

What would you think,

When I ask you to spend your whole life with me?

   Anna’s sweet voice blended in with the music. Anna never told me that she could sing like an angel. At the closing of the song, Anna gave one of the sweetest notes in her voice. After the song ended, we applaud. “That was a great song, Anna.” Cousin Ray complemented. “Thank you, Mr. Ray,” Anna whispered.

Before we went home, we took the rest of the peaches from the peach tree for the road. As we walked home, T.R. spoked to Anna. “I think you have a nice voice, Miss Anna. I think you should be a movie star.”

“A movie star?” Anna began.

“Or better yet, you could be on YouTube. I love your voice.”

“And I love your playing. I wish I could learn how to play by ear like you do.”

Anna and T.R. kept chatting until we went our separate ways. T.R. looked at me and told me that Anna was the nicest girls that she ever met. “I love Anna Knight,” my sister said, “I’m so glad that she’s our friend. Inside Cousin Ray’s house, I thought about Anna. Anna was indeed a sweet person that ever came into our lives. I couldn’t imagine my life without Anna. “I love Anna, too,” I told my sister. Miss Carla and Daddy saw the peaches we had. Miss Carla took them and made peach cobbler out of them.

To Be continued/Stay Tuned

Such Sweet Sorrow(Chap.9)

Published September 29, 2009 by ladyserenity92

Saturday crept up unexpectedly for me. I was still asleep in my bed when my pocket phone rang. It rang to the music of ‘Holla Back Girl’. I was so tired from last night that I paid no mind to the call and went back to sleep. I sleep late on Saturdays. I heard my door crept open and footsteps coming in.

“Rise and shine, sleeping beauty. Can’t sleep your life away.” Miss Carla greeted.

“So. What’s it to you?” I mumbled, pulling the covers over my head.

Miss Carla shook me as I opened my eyes. I gazed up and saw that she had a glass of water above my head. I jumped up out of bed and rubbed the sand from my eyes.

“All right, Miss Carla! You win. I’m up.”

“Thank you. It always works with my son all the time.”


After I fixed myself up for the morning, I greeted my family in the kitchen. I sat down next to Cousin Ray, just as Miss Carla gave me a plate of french toast for breakfast. The french toast had starwberries and whipped cream on top dusted with powered sugar. In the middle of eating, my daddy busted in the kitchen and pointed right at me.

“You little chit,” he roared. “How could you do this to me? At least you could have told me your mother called for me.”

It hit me like a boomerang. The phone call on my pocket phone was Momma trying to call Daddy.

“Daddy, I didn’t know.” I told him, “My bad.”

“Your bad!” he chastised. “My God, girl! Don’t you have any sense in your head. How could you be so stupid, Sheila?”

Daddy only called me by my birthname when he was upset with me or wanted to tell me something important.

I got up and attacked. “It was just a phone call, Daddy. I was tried. I’ve been up all night. Just give me a Coke break!”

“You are a rude, selfish pig, young lady! ”

“It was just a phone call, Daddy. Butterfly didn’t know.” Jordan said.

“You mind your own business, Jordan!” Daddy barked.

Cousin Ray rose up and looked at my daddy. “I won’t tolerate any fighting in my house. Please take it outside.”

Daddy looked at me with his hostile eyes. “Damn you, Sheila! You ruined my life.” Then he stormed out of the kitchen.

Cousin Ray looked at me and I looked at him. I left the kitchen and went out the front door. Since it was still early, there was no one around. I sat on the porch and cried. I’ve never been talked down to anyone like that before; not even my own daddy. I thought ‘why was I even born in this world to hurt people?’ I couldn’t help being born. Why did Daddy yell at me for not answering the phone. It was just a phone call from momma.

I cried for a while until a voice spoked, “Hey, it’s too early to cry. Don’t let the sun catch you crying.” I brushed my tears away and saw my Anna. Anna looked a little different now. She was tanned and had cut her hair. No longer were the pigtails or the Lolita styles she wore that greeted me. It was like she had matured into a woman.

“Hello, Anna,” I greeted. Anna studied me and may her conclusion.

“Did you and your father had a fight today?” She asked.

“Yep. All because I didn’t answer the phone.”

“I had a fight with my family. And this time it was with my brother. He told me that I was a Satanist. He read my dairy that had a story in it. I wrote it a long time ago on a bet.”

Anna often ‘wrote’ stories in her dairy everyday. Some true; some made up. The one story she had written was set to a theme of dungeons and Dragons, but it had magic girls to it. The story was very beautiful and sweet. She showed it to me and my brother and sister; then she showed it to Cousin Ray. Cousin Ray liked the story.

“Anna, this is wonderful. You could be a fantasy novelist. This is so hot.” My cousin told her.

When she showed her brother the story, all hell broke loose. It was at dinner that the augment between Anna and her brother went on all night.

I still remember the conflict. That was what woke me up.

I looked at Anna. “It was just a bullshit fight.” I told her.

“It’s okay.” she told me. “People fight all the time. It’s just a part of life.”

“It’s not okay, Anna! My daddy hurt me so much; I just hate it. What did I do to hurt him? I mean, what did I do to him? Anna, I envy you. You are so normal and sweet. You don’t have an enemy in the world. You’re so perfect.”

The front door opened. Miss Carla stepped out. “Your father wants to talk to you. It’s important.” I got up to confront my daddy. I looked at  Anna. She shooed me away.

Cousin Ray escorted me to the kitchen. “I talked to your dad. He asked me to talk to you that he was sorry. I told him, ‘Walt, she’s your daughter. You talk to her.” Cousin Ray led me to the kitchen and I walked in. Daddy was sitting at the table, with red eyes.

“I was angry at your mother, not you or your brother.” he said. “It’s just we had been separated for three years. She just called to tell me that she wanted a divorce. Her first intention was to call you and let me talk to her. It just got out of hand. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t mean to make you cry, Butterfly. I’m sorry.”

At all made sense now. The reason why Daddy was mad at me was because he was having a crisis with Momma. Momma and Daddy had been together for 16 years of their lives. They were 20 when they met; 22 when they married, and 23 when I was born. It was the reason why Daddy wanted to take us a vacation just to get away from the pressure that the separation was having on him. And now it had blowed over and struck us.

I made a promise to myself that If I did get married, I would never let a divorce get in the way. I was only fooling myself. divorce happens. And no one can control that. Instead, I told my daddy, “I forgive you, Daddy. I love you.”

I hugged my daddy and he hugged me. Daddy sobbed and wept. I wept, too. That was the day that my family would never be the same again.

To be continued/Stay tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow(Chap.7)

Published September 12, 2009 by ladyserenity92

When morning came, I woke up from my bed and went downstairs. When I arrived in the kitchen, I greeted my family and Miss Carla. As I sat in a chair next to my daddy at the table, Miss Carla placed a plate of grits, fried eggs, tomatoes and toast in front of me before placing down a cup of tea. I normally don’t drink tea that much, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to tell Miss Carla about it. So I poured some milk into the tea and added two lumps of sugar and stirred it up.

As I sipped my tea, Cousin Ray came in. He breezed over to me and kissed me on my cheek.

“Hey,” I beamed, turning red.

“Awww, Sissy’s blushing.” Jordan said.

“There’s nothing wrong with a man giving his female cousin a morning kiss,” Cousin Ray told my brother, “this isn’t 14th century Italy, you know.”

“I wish I could go to Italy,’ T.R. said dreamily.

Ray sat down next to me as Miss Clara gave him a cup of pitch-black coffee. T.R. gazed at Cousin Ray as an older brother.

T.R. asked cousin Ray, “So, Cousin, how does it feel turning thirty?”

Cousin Ray replied, “Like the truck of life just hit me.”

“Cousin Ray,” Jordan went, “why are you so odd?”

Like a few stuffy adults, Cousin Ray could have told Jordan to mind his own business; instead, Cousin Ray told Jordan, ” ‘What makes us different is that we are not normal’. Haruki Murakami, author of Norwegian Wood.” Cousin Ray always added wisdom to get his point.

“Can I trouble you children with one request?” Cousin Ray asked us kids.

“Okay.” T.R. said.

“Don’t call me ‘cousin’. Just call me Ray. Not ‘sir’ or anything else.”

“How about ‘Ray-Gun?” Jordan asked.

“I like that, kid. It makes me feel young again.”

We finished up breakfast just in time for Cousin Ray’s carpool horn blow outside. Cousin Ray looked at his watch and jumped up. “Wow, how time flies.” Cousin Ray kissed us kids (and Miss Carla). Cousin Ray took the lunch from Miss Carla’s hand and hugged Daddy as he left the kitchen to the front door. He grabbed his briefcase and went out the door.

Jordan, T.R. and I opened the door just as Cousin Ray was stepping inside the carpool. We saw Mindy waving at us.

“Goodbye, Ray!” we cried. “Come back soon.

“Goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow! Good day until tonight!” Cousin Ray called back softly.

As Cousin Ray got in, he shut the  car door . The carpool drove out the driveway and down the street until it vanished from sight.

To Be continued/Stay Tuned!

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap.6)

Published June 27, 2009 by ladyserenity92

That afternoon, Daddy drove us to the dollar store; while Cousin Ray stayed home with Miss Carla to plan the picnic. At the dollar store, Daddy gave us some money to buy a gift for Ray.

“Now, I don’t want you three to spend this money on anything foolish,” Daddy reminded us. “T.R., Jordan, you follow your sister and stay close to her. Don’t get lost, Ray and Miss Carla are waiting for us back at the house. I will meet you three by the front door in about an hour.”

After Daddy settled the matter, he left to get the fireworks. We kids were on our own in the store.

My siblings and I scanned around the store to search the treasure that was a gift for Cousin Ray. The first thing that caught Jordan’s eye was a china-blue conch shell. “Wow! Ray will like this,” Jordan said. Jordan picked up the shell and placed it in the shopping basket.

In the next aisle, there were bouquets of real, fresh flowers on display. T.R. saw a bouquet of  sunflowers that made her smile. T.R. was enchanted by the bright flowers, so she took them from the rack and placed the flowers in the shopping basket.

I thought I would never find a gift for Cousin Ray. My brother and sister found a card for Cousin Ray that made them laugh. I took the card from my sister. On the front of the card were two squirrels on top of a tree. Below the tree on the card were the captions:

Cousin to Cousin

We will always be special friends from the same family tree.


I opened the card and found out what made them laugh. Inside were the words:

Just like a squirrel, you sometimes drive me nuts!

Have a wonderful day!


We all decided to get the ‘birthday card’ for Cousin Ray.

Walking down the aisle, My siblings and I came to the stationery section. On the self were books of different shapes and sizes. I picked up a book that had two cherub angels  looking up at the heavens on the front cover. I opened the book and examined the pages from cover to cover. Every page from the first to the last was wordless and blank. I scanned the sign above the books:



Makes a great gift in a recession world!

I knew that I had found the perfect gift for Ray.


Later on, Daddy drove us kids to the park. And sure enough, it was raining like a waterfall. Seeing Miss Carla and Cousin Mike under the canopy, we made a dash for it. Cousin Mike is Cousin Ray’s brother. Mike was born in South Korea but was adopted by Ray’s parents. When Cousin Ray’s parents went back to Canada for good, Cousin Mike stayed behind with his brother. They have a little sister from China named Ruby Grace. I haven’t met my cousin Ruby Grace. She too left with Ray and Mike’s parents to Canada. I saw her picture once with her life partner with the words written in her handwriting, ‘I wish I could meet you, guys! OXOXO! R.G.! Remember the night of crystals.’

“Hey, Butterfly! Could you give us a hand?” Cousin Mike called. I raced over to help.

As I helped Cousin Mike and Miss Carla set the table, I spotted Cousin Ray with a young woman dashing to the canopy. When Cousin Ray and the woman made it out of the rain, they sat down on the bench together. I saw the woman. She wore a pale, ice cream pink sundress and open toe sandals on her feet. Her fingernails and toes were painted bright purple. On her head was a white hat with a red ribbon wrapped around it.

The woman knew that I was looking at her. The woman took off her hat and turned her gaze toward me. Her eyes were hazel brown, as was her hair; and she was half-Caucasian and half-Asian. I could tell you how lovely she was as a model in a Vogue magazine. Cousin Ray looked my way and introduced the woman to me.

“Butterfly, this is my co-worker and associate, Mindy Smith. Mindy, this is my cousin, Butterfly Taylor.”

“Please to meet you, ma’am.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Butterfly,” Mindy replied with a smile. “But you don’t have to call me ‘ma’am’, it just makes me feel old.”


Jordan and T.R. saw Mindy and got a chance to talk to her.

“You look like a doll,” Jordan told Mindy. “Are you from Japan?”

T.R. and I double backhanded our brother on the back of the head for the question.

Mindy laughed it off and told him that her mother was Chinese and her father was from England. “I have a little brother that was just like yours,” Mindy told us girls with a wink in her eye. We kids talked to Mindy for a long time and became friends with her.

Daddy called everyone to the picnic table to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. We gather around Cousin Ray and sang ‘Happy Birthday.’ After the song was over, Cousin Ray blew out all thirty of the candles on the cake. After the fest of food and cake, it was time for Cousin Ray to open up his presents. In my family’s ritual, the member of the family with a birthday has to open up a present from the youngest member of the family.

Cousin Ray opened up Jordan’s present and fell in love with the seashell. Cousin Ray thanked Jordan as T.R. handed over her bouquet of sunflowers. Cousin Ray took the bouquet and smelt them. “T.R., I love sunflowers. Thank you, my dear.”

Next, came my turn.

Cousin Ray unwrapped my gift. When my cousin saw the journal, he almost choked up with emotion. My cousin reached over and side-hugged me. “Thank you, my honey.” he said.


After the picnic ended at dusk, we drove over to a vacant parking lot behind a middle school. Placing the vehicles on park, we got out. Along the way, I spotted a video camera attached onto the side of the building. I saw Daddy carrying the firework under his arm. The firework was red and octagon-shaped.

Daddy motioned Cousin Ray to come over. Cousin Ray walked over to my daddy, carrying a lighter in his hand. Everyone made a semi-circle as Cousin Ray lit the fuse. As the fuse sparked, we moved far back. There were showers of multi-colored sparks bursting into the air like a volcano, along with an ear-splitting whistling sound that could wake up Sleeping Beauty.

We all panicked.

“Let’s get the hell out of here!” Daddy cried, pulling T.R. by the arm.

“Screw this, I’m out of here,” Mike said, running to his van.

I pulled Jordan and threw him into the car. Everyone jumped into their vehicles and closed the doors. With the firework still blasting into the air, we drove like mad out of the parking lot and never looked back.


To Be Continued/Stayed Tuned! 

Such Sweet Sorrow (Chap.5)

Published June 13, 2009 by ladyserenity92

That night at the dinner table, I told my family about Anna and Vladimir.

“Anna and Vladimir Knight,” Cousin Ray said, word by word. “Those two kids are mostly quiet and keep to themselves. Anna is mostly shy; she doesn’t have any friends, and doesn’t open up real easily since she is often bullied. In fact, the poor girl was bullied so much, she had to be home-schooled.”

“Poor, Anna.” Jordan said. “I wish I could be her friend.

I thought about the books Anna had given me.

“Anna gave me some books to read,” I said. “They’re really good.”

Two of the books that were Anna’s were a book of poems, while the other two were two books that I never read before. One was Night train to the Stars by Kenji Miyazawa, and the other was Kiki’s Delivery Service written by Eiko Kadono. I only saw the movie version of Kiki’s Delivery Service but never read the novel version of it. I wanted to know why would Anna wanted me to read the four books she had given me.

I decided to read the books to find out.


After dinner, my family and I watched a movie that Cousin Ray rented from Netflix. The movie was an old black & white horror movie. I didn’t care too much for the movie, so I started reading one of Anna’s book of poems. On the next page was a poem entitled ‘Outsider’. As I read the words, I felt movement at what Anna was saying in her poem.

There was a loud scream in the room. The scream came from me because my dog Potato had licked my foot. Screaming, I leaped up from the couch, tossing the book out of my hand. T.R. was next to me and jumped up, tossing the bowl of popcorn in the air. The popcorn got on everyone. Potato had a feast of the popcorn on the floor.

“Butterfly, look at this,” Daddy groaned.

“It’s okay; I’ll clean up the mess.” Miss Carla announced.

“No, Carla. Let me do it.” Cousin Ray volunteer.


The movie was postponed. Daddy made me stay behind with Cousin Ray to clean up the mess I’ve made. In the middle of sweeping, I gave my cousin a sly smile.

“I can be a bit of a klutz sometimes,” I told him.

“So you say?” he replied.

“Yep, I couldn’t even bowl a strike to save my life.”

Cousin Ray stopped cleaning up and walked over to me. As I swept, he placed a hand on mine. I looked into those blue eyes of his.

“I don’t think of you as a klutz at all,” he told me, “I think of you as a funny teenage girl who was sent from above to make the world smile.”

I looked at my cousin and felt my heart flutter. I knew what my cousin said was the most beautiful ever. As I smiled at Cousin Ray, I felt millions of butterflies slow-dancing in my stomach.

Cousin Ray spotted my book on the floor. He went over and picked it up off the floor. “I believe this is yours, Mademoiselle,” he said formally.

I laughed as I placed the book on the coffee table. Without another word, we went back to cleaning up the den.


Cousin Ray and I didn’t finished cleaning until midnight. I was very exalted when I got to my room. I collapsed on my bed, rolled up the covers and drifted off to sleep. In my dream, I was walking hand-in-hand with my cousin along the sandy shores of the beach.


July fourth was the day that I longed for. It was Indepandce Day and Cousin Ray’s birthday. With the lack of sleep still lingering me, I got up from my bed and grabbed some fresh clothes to wear. I went down the hallway to the bathroom to take a shower. In the shower, I washed myself clean. I washed off the dirt, old oils and other filth off me. I am reminded of old saying that a teacher once told me, ‘A dirty body has a dirty soul’.

I went down to the kitchen and smiled warmly at my family. “Good morning, everybody,” I beamed. I breezed in and kissed everyone. “Wow, my dear! You seemed to be quite happy this morning,” Daddy replied.

As I sat down, I sang a song for Cousin Ray for his birthday.

God bless, you!

On this day!

Happy, happy birthday and many more!

“Happy birthday, Ray!” I said.

Then T.R. and Jordan sang their version.

Happy birthday, it’s your stupid birthday.

Happy birthday.

Boy, you’re really old.

Cousin Ray chuckled at the song. “Guys, you think I’m that old?” Cousin Ray said to my brother and sister. “I just turned thirty today.” We all laughed at the hidden joke that Ray gave us. Cousin Ray stood up and lifted up his coffee mug. “Well, I’m officially 30 years old today.” He chimed.

“To thirty years,” Cousin Ray said. “May I have many more years of good health.”

“To thirty years!” we said, chinking our glasses together.

“Let’s have a picnic for Cousin Ray.” T.R. said.

“Honey, I’m not so sure that a picnic would be apperate for Cousin Ray,” Daddy said, “I just heard on the weather report that it was going to Rain today.”

“But, Father,” T.R. said formally. (T.R. sometimes called Daddy ‘Father’ when she wanted something from him or if she was upset with him. Most of the time she liked to call Daddy ‘Father’ to sound more mature.) ,”Cousin Ray would love to have a rainy day picnic for his birthday. And besides, he’s only thirty once in his life. Let’s have a picnic for him. Would you like that, huh Cousin Ray.”

T.R. batted her eyelashes at Cousin Ray. Her hypnotic brown eyes entrapped my cousin into doing something that he haven’t done in his life. With her bright, brown eyes and beauty, T.R. could get you to do what you wanted to do. My sister was a young Cleopatra.

Ray took one look at T.R. and made his decision.

“Okay, let’s do it!” he said.

To Be continued/Stay Tuned!

My Friend Mimi (esp.4)

Published May 15, 2009 by ladyserenity92

That next day was day of the festival. You and your sister got dressed up and ready for that special day. Your sister wore a tank top and jeans; while you wore your sailor clothes. You examined yourself in the bathroom mirror. You noticed how short your hair was cut. .

You know what I think? When you were ten you always wanted short hair just like the girls in the teen and tween magazines you’ve liked so much. Your grandma once said that girls having short hair and boys having long hair was a sign of rebellion. You never stopped to think about a rebellion. Short hair for girls and long hair for boys was very popular back than. To me you looked lovely with short hair.

You and your sister finished up just as the door bell rang. Both you and your sister raced over to the door. You beat your sister to the door. You turned the doorknob and in front of you was Mimi with a man standing next to her. The man had red hair and wore blue jeans and a KISS t-shirt. You and your sister blushed as the man smiled warmly.

Mimi saw the glow on you and your sister’s face.

“This is my teacher, Mr. Hall,” Mimi introduced the man. “Mr. Hall this is Jesse and her sister Liora.”

Your sister studied Mr. Hall from head to toe. As she looked at him from head to toe, she felt her heart pounding. It pounded so fast, you thought that your sister would die happy in front of you.

Mr. Hall was a doll. In your mind you wished Mimi’s teacher would be your boyfriend. He was a rare blue rose. No wonder why your sister was crazy about him.

Mr. Hall saw your sister and smiled again.

“Hi, Roland.” Your sister replied gently.

“Hello, Jessica.” Mr. Hall returned. “Parker’s waiting for us in the car. we don’t want to be late, so we better get a move on. The parking spaces get full this time of year.”

“Yes,” your sister said, still blushing like a tomato. “Let’s go, Sis.”

You met Mimi’s brother Parker. He was seven and was three years younger than Mimi. Parker had a phobia of girls and women as you found out when you tried to shake his hand. He turned his back to you. He was afraid and didn’t know you.

I hope you don’t hold a grudge to Mimi’s bother or towards other men and boys. Most people are like that. Most times some people change. (I said ‘some’; not all.) Maybe thirty years later you and Parker are getting along very well. And Parker is Mimi’s brother, after all.

Mr. Hall got to the festival on schedule and was fortunate to find a parking space. You got out of the car with everybody else and walked to the entrance of the festival gate. You and the others notice that there wasn’t as many people flooding the festival as the last time. The reason why was because there was a recession in New Jersey that spread all the world like a virus. Most people stayed home because they couldn’t afford to have fun.

That was one of the many reasons that your sister and your parents were giving you less allowance money.

By the gates of the entrance, two men were hitting on your sister.

“Look but don’t touch, boys.” Your sister rebuked.

“Ignore them,” Mr. Hall told her, “They don’t know that they have females in the family and treat women as pieces of meat.”

During the festival, you never let Mr. Hall nor your sister out of your sight. You, Mimi and Parker was in awe when you saw Mr. Hall holding your sister’s hand.

Your sister asked the three of you, “What ride do you guys want to go on first?”

“The Ferris wheel!” You all cried in unison.

“The Ferris Wheel it is! Let’s go.”

“Um, couldn’t we go on a different ride besides the Ferris wheel?” Mr. Hall asked. Mr Hall looked pale.

“Ferris Wheel!”You all said again.

The line to the Ferris wheel was long, but it was worth the wait. The rainbow steel and neon lights; it was like a dream machine. There are two rules about riding a Ferris wheel:

  1. You can’t ride the Ferris wheel by yourself.
  2. Someone has to ride with you.

Once you have a partner on the wheel, that partner becomes your friend or lover. Your mom always told you stories about meeting your dad on the Ferris wheel. And two months later your mom and dad got married. After the next group of people got off it was you, your sister and your friends turn.

As the five of you got inside and sat down, the man closed the door tight. The ride went up to the top. Down below the festival was a glow of lights, with the sound of music. Mr. Hall glanced far into the nightly heavens of the milky way. Mr. Hall was deep into his thoughts.

“Mr. Hall, what are you thinking about?” Mimi questioned.

 Still watching, Mr. Hall spoke. “I’m reflecting back to when I was a boy. I was young and had freedom when I rode the Ferris wheel. It was my father, my mother, my three sisters and me on the wheel at the amusement park. This may be the last time I get to enjoy this freedom.”

You and everyone that was with you wanted to know what the true meanings of Mr. Hall’s words.

It was at the moment that Mr. Hall turned his glance to your sister.

When Mr. Hall looked into your sister’s brown eyes, his eyes were shining with tears.

Mr. Hall, are we ever going to see you again? Are you going to be alive to see Jesse? You said to yourself voiceless.

“Jessica,” Mr. Hall began, “from the first moment I saw you standing at the church, I knew that you were the only one that would be the one girl that would be my one and only. I knew it deep in my heart that we would be together. You were so pure and innocent. But the rumor that was started by Tonya soon went out of control. 

“It was the lies of a twelve year old girl that made me hate you. On that day you opened the church doors, I saw you. In rage, I threw a bucket of holy water at you.  I should’ve gave you a chance to speak instead of a rumor to speak for itself. I was out of town when the rumor happened.

To Be Continued/Stayed Tuned

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