Elysia Hughes, age 2, listens to Maes Hughes read her a story for an old thick story book, the word Fairytales is written across the front. "… And they lived happily ever after. The End."
"Papa, are tear wheely munstas, like ta ones in ta book?" she asked gripping her father.
"No, sugar-pumpkin-pie, there's no such thing as monsters. They are make-believe."
"Wah 'bout ta witch, owa at penguin queen?"
"No such thing as those either, my angel of cuteness."
"Wah 'bout ta happily eber afta?"
Maes opened his mouth but paused… Then slowly answered. "That's a difficult question." Then he stood from his seat and said, "Okay, Munchkin princess, time for bed."
"Daddy… Are ta fairies wheel?"
Maes struggled to answer, "Not here… But… Somewhere there are fairies. And as long as you believe they'll always be real in here," He said pointing to Elysia's head "And here." Then pointed to her heart. "Nothing is really gone if you still believe. Goodnight, my little-rosebud."
Elysia, age 3, stood dressed in black as they carried her father's coffin to his grave.
"Mommy why are those men burying daddy? Who are they? Why mommy?" The small child cried as her mother fell down next to her and cried.
"Oh Elysia." The mother cried as the girl struggled.
"Daddy! Wake up! You need to do your work and you can't if they bury you. That's what you told me. Daddy please, wake up!" The girl cried as she hugged her mother.
"Elysia, daddy can't wake up. Daddy's... Daddy's gone." The mother continued to cry.
"Where is he? Daddy!" The girl cried as people slowly began to leave. The mother picked up her crying child and walked away. "No Daddy!" she jumped out of her mother's arms and ran to the gravestone. She stood there and cried as she stared at the words on the stone.
The woman stood beside her daughter. "Yes, Elysia?"
"Did Daddy go to Heaven?"
She covered her mouth to stifle a sob and nodded sadly.
Roy walked up to the girl. Tears in his eyes he said aloud, not necessarily to the child or her mother, "If there is such a thing as Heaven… Maes deserves it."
Elysia, age 12, sits on top of a boy, dressed in a black shirt and jeans, and pounded him with both her fists. The other children circle around as the teachers try to break up the fight. The boy was pulled free from underneath Elysia and hid behind the teacher. Later Elysia walked out of the principal's office, with her book bag, accompanied by Alphonse, "Third time this month, I've had to come get you." he turned his head toward Elysia, "So what'd the freak say this time, or is it just that time of the month?"
"Nothing." Elysia mumbled. "He was making faces at me, and whispering with his gang of ass-monkeys-OWW!"
Alphonse slapped the back of her head. "That isn't the type of language that should be used by a young lady."
"What do you care?"
"You are my friend, and as your friend I wish you to be and act more intelligent then you pretend to be."
"Oh, look who's all grown up and mature!" she said rolling her eyes. "You're not my father-" she cut herself off in mid sentence.
"You miss him don't you?" Al asked.
Suddenly Elysia was furious, "I do not miss him. I'm glad he's gone! Glad you hear!" Elysia yelled and ran off.
"We both know that isn't true." he mumbled as he watched her run.
She ran all the way to the cemetery. Her run slowed to a fast walk as she past. Suddenly the wind changed, making her look up towards her father's grave. Without thinking she hoped the fence and ran up the hill. She stopped in front of his stone., and sits. In a shaky voice she began to talk. "…Hi, um, I know I haven't really… I-… This is harder than it looks… Dad, I just- It's hard to say…" she couldn't find the words to what she was feeling. She had practiced a speech for weeks and hadn't thought she'd actually use it. Her thoughts wandered to that moment 10 years ago when she was lying in bed listening to him tell her the story of the Penguin Queen, and just like that she began to cry. The pain and sorrow overflowed and she completely broke down. "WHY!" she screamed in a harsh voice. "PAPA, WHY! Why did you leave us? What did we do? All I ever did was love you? Why'd you leave us, when we needed you most? I believe for so long you'd come back. I believed in all those things you read to me! I believed and I got shit!" She cried for a long time after that last line. Slowly she became angry again and got up clenching her fists. "I hate you." she clenched her teeth. "I hate you for making me feel so much pain. I wish you'd never been a part of my life."
But Elysia, at age 25, stood, in a white dress printed with maroon flowers that goes to her mid-thigh, in front of her father's grave. She stared at the stone with tears in her eyes. "Hey… It's been a while. So, I thought I'd come see you. Mom's fine and wishes you the best where ever you are. She says that the Foxtails and Marigolds are doing really well. It's Al's birthday tomorrow. He's taking me out to a romantic restaurant. Just the two of us. I think he's going to ask me to marry him." She paused and let the tears finally flow as she fell to her knees she sobbed, " I'm sorry… What I said last time was stupid and I'm sorry. I know now why you died. You didn't mean to, but then again who means to die. I've been a bad daughter… I'm a disappointment to our whole family. And it hurts. I stopped believing in all the things you taught me. That believing in something kept it in our mind and heart. I stopped believing in you. That your reasons were just and that you loved me and that no matter where you were you believed in me. It hurts to think about you and to talk about you and even now. Even if you aren't there and I'm talking to the wind." she wiped away her tears and stood. "Lord knows, sometimes, I wish you'd never been a part of my life… Maybe one day I'll believe that lie, but I sure hope not." she smiled weakly and turned to leave then stopped, walked quickly, back to the stone and set something at its base. "I love you, Papa." Then she hurried down the hill towards the street where Al was waiting. He put his arm around her and brushed a tear off her cheek. She laughed and they walked away.
At the base of Maes Hughes grave stone sat a little glass fairy wings spread wide and engraved in the glass was a simple message. 'You don't need to see to believe, you need to believe to see.'