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Chapter 1

“Mike…Mike!!!” yelled a little girl.

She was all alone, in a dark cabin; the same cabin which she called their secret hideout. This was their own sanctuary; somewhere no one else knew of and they were able to call their own. It was a dark abandoned cabin, probably left by its former resident due to some illness no one has ever heard of and will never suffer from ever again.

The windows were stained with dust and cobwebs, so much that not even a spot of light can hit them and make the creaky wooded floors shine of sunlight. It was night time and she still has yet to go home because she waiting to say goodbye to her friend, Mike.

He was the type of boy who was valiant in every way, yet never chauvinistic. Maybe too stubborn for his own good, he searched for adventures far off in their small town in Taichung, Taiwan which was covered with hills and deserted land.

The little girl was fortunate to have met him at such a young age. Even though they were just barely 5, they had lived lives that exceeded many adults. Their imaginations could take them as far as the tombs in Egypt but as close to each other as this broken down cabin. They would come here to talk, to imagine, to pretend. Almost always they would just find the company of the other the only thing worth needing in order for them to experience their euphoria. Eternally in themselves, a special place laid in their hearts for the other.

However, the little girl would have to experience her own bravery for once in her life starting today. She was parting from her valiant knight to break from society’s economic stratification that pitted her mother against the “Big Brother” of the corporate world. Her mother was unable to pay her rent and her debt was getting larger by the minute. Therefore they had to flee to another country and try to develop a better life.

So, the little girl had to leave. She had to leave behind the only life she had ever loved and the only boy she has ever loved, Mike.

“Ariel!!” screamed an out of breathe Mike. “My dear princess, hast thou fallen to the crypts of insanity??”

The little girl, with a confused expression, spoke sweetly, “…huh??”

The little boy, quite precocious even at the age of 5, could tell that his princess has a deathly tone in her confusion, something was wrong.

“Why did you want to see me so late? Are you nuts?? You know I have to wake up at 6 every morning so I can see my dad leave for work,” he said with an agitated tone.

“Uh…um…I-I-I am s-sorry” said the little girl.

She was trembling from nerves that she never knew she had. It was hard enough to go through the trip but to let Mike…no, to let herself understand that her move was her reality was unacceptable. She didn’t want to leave the boy who protected her for so long against anything and everything to be ripped from her side yet. It was just too fast for this growing girl to understand why everything was happening at this speed.

“Um…Mike, I have something to tell you” she said in a very timid voice.

“Well…speak,” he said calmly with a smile. She liked his smile.

It was the kind of smile that made anyone want to smile with him. You can feel his youth spreading through your body with one glance of his perfectly clean pearly whites. One time, she swore she saw a gleam of light coming from them. This was the last time she would ever see that smile.

“M-Mike…I…I…” she said unable to say anything else.

Her pinnacle point had been met; this was too hard for a 5 year old. How can the world let her leave the love of her life? How can it be so cruel? So unable to go further, she threw her arms around Mike and wept. Slowly she was able to spit out what had to be said.

“I have to leave you.”

Those words were enough to have Mike’s world come crashing down. He was in a state of shock because he had vowed to himself to never say goodbye to her. It was a silly promise but to him, saying goodbye meant the end of something permanently so he never wanted to say it to Ariel.

As she wept on his shirt, he was only able to utter one word. “No.”

That was all it took to have him crying with her.

“I don’t want to leave you Mike” said the weeping little girl, “but mommy said I have to. I don’t know why, I don’t know anything…but we’re leaving tonight.”

Mike was holding onto her for dear life, unable to let her go but able to let another word out. “NO!” he screamed.

For once in his life, he was a child. He was selfish, stubborn and whined his way through his argument. Suddenly, the door on the creaky cabin crashed open.

“Ariel, we have to leave now!” Her mother was tugging at Ariel’s small arm as Mike continued to hold onto her. “I’m so sorry Mike, but you can’t come. I think it’s best if you go back home now!” screamed the out of breathe mother.

She herself had streams of tears running down her cheeks. She knew the relationship Mike and Ariel had, but she was unable to make this pain go away, unable to let the tears stop running from down their small, innocent little faces. It was nobody’s fault that they had to leave, but somehow the world had felt its consequence. How can one person’s action affect the wellbeing of so many at this capacity? The last person that knew the answer to this question would be Ariel.

 

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