Tuesday, September 1, 2009

12. Unconditional Love.

Melanie Wakefield often thought about how she would die. Her visions of death could be trace back to when she was only a child and found bloody pieces of her pet rabbit scattered around her back yard. As she unhinged the gate that led into the yard, she thought someone had sprinkled rose petals on the lawn in some grand romantic gesture that she didn't yet understand but saw on TV. Melanie approached hesitantly because on some baser level she could tell that this was a situation that required utmost caution. She squinted through her thick glasses and brought her face but an inch away from one of the pieces before slowly realizing that the raw, pulpy mass of bone and guts somewhat resembled her rabbit's paw, yet she never quite understood why Bugs, her snow white bunny that was a gift from her grandparents on her 4th birthday had suddenly come apart and turned red. Being the kindhearted, intuitive person that Melanie was, she knew her rabbit was hurt and wanted to help him get better so an hour later, Melanie was covered in the bloody tissue of her dead rabbit as she gathered the body parts and tried to piece her pet back together. When Luna Wakefiled walked out to the disturbing scene she choked on the dread and fear that was slow making it's way up her throat as thoughts filled her head of her sweet little baby girl performing unthinkable, inhumane acts on a poor defenseless animal and let out a scream that pierced the ears of dogs 100 miles away.

The fatal outcome of Bugs was the culmination of the stars lining up at just the right position that set aim to Bugs' cage and released him from his imprisonment so he could enjoy what would be the last moments of his life unfettered and free. As Bugs roamed the grass and nibbled at his freedom, a stray dog scaled the wall that surrounded the Wakefield house to protect them from the evils of the outside world. The possibility of an animal breaching this secure barrier and causing harm to the furry member of the Wakefield family had never crossed their minds, they focused on the human members of their family never considering that an ill done to any member of their family could penetrate the sanity and sanctity of life as they knew it.

Yet Peter and Luna Wakefield would never know that their property had been invaded by a scavenger beast because upon seeing her mother, Melanie started clapping her hands and spraying drops of blood around the already saturated yard and proudly taking credit for the masterpiece she created saying, "look what I did Mommy, look what I did." Whether the miscommunication was due to Luna Wakefield's already shocked and battered state or her inability to ask the right questions for fear of her daughter's answer or denial of the situation and inability to take responsibility, she took her daughter to mean that she tore the precious body of her pet into little pieces. And when her daughter ran to her, arms extended for an embrace on a job well done, Luna Wakefield turned away and never looked back.

As Melanie watched her mother walk away, her prideful shoulders sagged and her winning smile was clouded with confusion as she wondered why her mother didn't praise her for putting Bugs back together. Luna would never look at her daughter the same after that day and as time went on her love for her daughter slowly waned until eventually there was nothing left inside of her. She was completely void of any feelings for her daughter and became consumed with self hated for creating a despicable creature that could destroy life so viciously and careless. It was because of her mother's unexplainable disregard for her that Melanie never understood what unconditional love was and would never feel the bond that a mother has with her child because when Melanie became pregnant and had a son that she named Trevor, she did the only thing she knew to do when things got rough: she gave him away and never looked back.


M.J. said...

Morbid. I think the death of a pet is often a child's first brush with mortality.

I like how Trevor's childhood story contrasts Julianna's so starkly.

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