Where Butterflies Go

I looked out the car window my face pressed against the glass staring out at the highway that passed by, the road winding into the distance like a large ribbon.

In the driver's seat next to me, my dad was silent his eyes on the road, not saying anything. We hadn't spoken for the past few miles the only noise in the car being the radio or my iPod which was stashed away in my purse.

Where were we going? We were going to a small town in Florida where my dad had acquired a new job. What was wrong with our old life in Hoboken, New Jersey, it wasn't so much what was wrong with it as who was missing from it. My mother, Elizabeth Hunter had passed away a few months ago just because some maniac had swerved the wrong way in an intersection and squarely hit the driver side of her car. I still remember the day the police officer came to our house and gave us the news; I think I was so shocked I couldn't even cry (not then anyway).

My father, David and I had been naturally devastated the tragedy had occurred so unexpectedly so when my dad, who was a prominent architect was offered a new project in southern Florida we jumped at the chance.

It was a "new start" my dad had said, and for the immediate future I believed him.

Here I am rambling on about where I'm going and what happened to me and I haven't bothered to introduce myself. My name is Mackenzie Hunter, I am 17 years old and I guess I'm pretty ordinary like most 17-year-olds you would meet. I'm tall and slender like my mom, not freakishly tall but tall enough to be considered so. I have nondescript brown hair that I can't do much with I am plain and don't consider myself particularly beautiful…even though numerous relatives would tell me so.

My mother had been beautiful, so my dad said when he tells about their whirlwind romance. It's like something out of a romance novel boy meets girl, and boy and girl fall madly in love have a baby and start a family (not necessarily in that order).

I had been conceived shortly after my parents college graduation and my father being the man he was had married my mother, but not for the reason you might think. They were in love, very much in love, it's just I came a little bit sooner than they expected.

My dad said I looked like my mom, although I had acquired his coloring and not my mother's light auburn hair (color she managed to keep even into her 40s still looking beautiful and radiant, she had aged gracefully, like a movie star).

I looked at my dad now he was still silent, still staring at the road, his hands gripping the wheel his jaw set in a firm line. My dad had drawn into himself following my mother's death. She had been the love of his life and that wasn't going to change… She could never simply be "replaced". Even before my mother's death my father had been a quiet man, he was an artist by nature and as such much of his thought process was internal rather than external so he didn't open up that much only to my mother and I and now only to me when he felt he had something to say.

"Dad," I said quietly, "do you want me to turn the radio back on?"

His voice was soft.

"Sure Kenzie, whatever you want." He answered.

Turning on the radio, filling the car with noise for the first time in hours I shuffled my way through the static before finding a country station we both liked and I left at like that for the next few miles.

We didn't speak again until we finally crossed the border into Florida and I knew it was going to be at least another day's drive to get to where we were going. We would drive for another four hours before stopping for the night and then we would pick up early again after eating breakfast at McDonald's and continuing on our way.

Our day started as the one before had, my dad and I only speaking when we set out or to relay directions on a particular turn on the highway. The town we were going to be living in was small and not listed on any commercial map so it took some navigation and savvy to find the turn off for the town.

The town was called Mystic Cove and as we made the turn off I was eerily reminded of the description of Forks, Washington in the Twilight Saga, quiet and sleepy and unassuming that eeriness hiding some big secrets although I was sure Mystic Cove, Florida wasn't inhabited by vampires and werewolves.

I didn't know my life was about to change forever just by walking into the town and there was a boy somewhere that would be everything I didn't know I was missing and soon he would be everything I couldn't live without.

"Here we are." My dad said gruffly, "Mystic Cove."

I looked up in just enough time to see us driving past the "Welcome the Mystic Cove" I felt that eeriness creep over me again, something cold and heavy that settled in my chest and refused to go away.

Sometime a short while later I saw a mile marker which simply said:

Mystic Cove, population- 854.

Make that 856, I thought with a small smile.

Again that feeling of foreboding crept over me like I was walking into something dangerous and once I was past the sign that led into Mystic Cove there was no going back.