“Lilly,” said Steven, as he rushed into the room, his voice hushed but urgent. “I saw the whole thing. How could you have let her go on like that?”
“Me? Let her go on? I told her exactly how to act,” she snapped. “She hasn’t been here long enough to know our ways. We’re alive, aren’t we? If you think you can do a better job then you take over,” she added, turning away from him.
“I think the Queen likes her,” he chuckled.
“I think you’re right,” sighed Lilly, “but I can’t imagine why.”
“Are you talking about me?”
“Yes,” said Lilly, “we are. I’m going outside for awhile, I need to sit in a tree and calm down.”
“Have fun,” said Edith, turning toward her mother.
“So? You gave me away and then, when you moved into human society, you didn’t come and get me.”
Buttercup looked at her daughter. “Yes.”
“Why? Didn’t you like me? Am I too ugly for you, because I’m half human? Why would you leave me with those awful people?”
“I don’t think you can understand,” said Buttercup. “Our ways are different than those of the humans.”
“Meaner, right?” said Edith.
“I suppose it seems that way to you.”
“There’s really no other way to see it. You gave me to people who wouldn’t love me and when you could have taken me back, you didn’t. I may be young but I’m not stupid, so you can call yourself my mother all you want but to me, you’re just someone who gave me away,” she said, as she turned and ran outside.
“She’ll come around, Buttercup,” said Steven. “She’s new and things are….”
“She’s right,” said Buttercup. “She’s right about everything and we are meaner than the humans, which is something I never wanted to admit.”
Steven looked at his daughter. “She will come around. I did.”
“No, father, you didn’t. You still have mixed feelings about what was done to you.”
“I’m not saying it isn’t difficult,” he said.
“I know you aren’t,” said Buttercup, smiling weakly. “We shouldn’t switch our babies with theirs, it’s not good for anyone.”
“Well, she’s here now, so what are you going to do?”
“I talked to Scott and he said he would move back here, if we could all be together. Either that, or take her back to the human world, to live with us us there.”
“Did you tell her that?”
Buttercup shook her head. “Not yet. I thought we might get to know each other a little better before I say anything about her future.”
“That’s probably a good idea,” he said, nodding. “Your mother is stressed and exhausted.”
“I can see that.”
“How do you like living in the human world full-time?”
“I’d rather be here. See, that’s the thing. You should know where you came from. You can’t feel like you belong, if you don’t know where you’re from. That was taken away from you, from Edith and from too many others.”
“Well, your mother kept you,” he said softly.
“You’ll have to ask her,” said Steven. “But, truthfully, neither one of us would let you go.”
“What does that make me?”
“That’s something you have to ask yourself.”