Eva Ch. 04

Somehow, I drag my limp, feverish body off of the couch and upstairs to my room. I fall on my bed, lifeless. How long I lie there, I have no idea.

I am snapped back to animation by a knock on my door.


“Come in,” I say weakly.

I raise my head up off of my cool, smooth quilt as my mother walks into the room.

Cautiously, my mother walks over to my bed and gingerly sits down.

“Honey, I just saw Eva leaving, very upset,” she says, nervously smoothing her hands over the coverlet. “Is anything wrong?”

Without another word, I start to cry. Tears flooding my cheeks, my gasp hitches in my throat and I cannot breathe. I roll over and press my face into my pillow, breathing in the familiar scent of laundry and home.

She rubs my back awkwardly, trying to soothe me. Eventually, I cry myself to sleep, exhausted by my panting sobs. The dull blackness of a deep dreamless sleep is a welcome relief.

I sleep and I sleep, but never do I dream. I am plunged into a gray, empty, endless vortex of nothingness.

For almost eight hours, I sleep. When I awaken, the sky is just lightening. My face is dry and tight, and, for a moment, I can’t recall why. Then, I see the picture of Eva and me on my bedside table and I remember last night’s tears.

I stumble downstairs to the smell of coffee and see my mother, father, uncle, and brother all sitting around the kitchen island.

I can feel the stony silence settle like fog on my shoulders.

Hearing my footsteps approach, all four heads whip up to look at me.

“You little dyke!” My mother’s face, red with rage, scrunches up as she screams at me. I stumble back a few steps, shaken by the fury radiating from her.

“Amelia, calm down! This is no time to get hysterical,” my father orders, surprisingly composed. He takes my mother by the arm bursa escort and leads her upstairs, leaving me alone with my brother and uncle.

I look over at my brother, who is avoiding my face.

“Eva called.”

My heart drops through my stomach and my mouth goes dry.

“Wh-what did she say?”

“What do you think,” he spits out in disgust. “I gotta go.” With that, he pushes his chair away from the island, the long wooden legs scraping across the floor.

The house is eerily silent, the only noises being the slam of the front door as my brother stalks out and the gurgling of the coffee machine.

I slide into an empty seat, staring straight through the granite countertop.

The thump of heavy feet coming down the stairs heralds my father’s arrival. I glance up to see him stop at the bottom step and he looks at me, really looks at me.

In the past month, I have lost a lot of weight that I didn’t need to lose. My eyes must be bloodshot and puffy from all the weeping, and I haven’t changed my clothes all weekend.

Ignoring his brother-in-law by my side, my father says, “Get your shoes on. We’re going for a walk.”

I scramble to my feet, running to the front door, sliding my feet into a pair of clogs as I go. He marches out behind me and pulls the door shut.

The early morning air is surprisingly crisp for late June. Wearing only a tank top and pajama shorts, my arms and legs break out in goose bumps as I hop up and down, trying to warm up.

My father strides down the driveway, setting a brisk pace as we walk down the sidewalk. I silently thank God that the streets are deserted, so that no one can see me in my disheveled, half-clothed state.

After about fifteen minutes of walking in quiet, my father speaks.

“Why did you never tell me?”

“What?” I ask, surprised.

He stops escort bursa walking and I realize that we are at the elementary school playground.

“Follow me,” he says. Unexpectedly, he takes my hand and leads me to the swing set.

As I sit down on the swings, I am bombarded with memories of Eva and I sitting on these very seats, laughing, playing, growing up together. A tear slips past my closed eyelid and rolls down my cheek. I can hear the creak of the chains as my father squeezes into a seat far too small for his large frame.

Without a word, I can feel the warm weight of his hand on my shoulder, gently rubbing.

“Shh, shh, it’s okay,” he begins to murmur. Heaving, dry sobs wrack my body. After all the crying that I have done this weekend, I don’t think I have a single more drop of water in me.

I am tired. I am dry. I feel like I’m shriveled up into a tiny worm. And I am so fucking sick of it.

Finally, I calm down, the crying turning into mild hiccups, and then finally disappearing altogether.

“Thanks,” I say when my father hands me his handkerchief. As I pull it up to my nose, I giggle a little at how my father is dressed in a suit and tie with a clean cotton handkerchief in his pocket at seven ‘o clock in the morning.

Looking over at him, I giggle even more when I see his large frame stuffed into the tiny, elementary school swing. He looks thoroughly uncomfortable. Soon, my sniggers turn into contagious laughter, and my father and I are holding our bellies, laughing so hard we can’t breathe.

All of a sudden, however, I remember the real reason we came out here, and the laughter instantly escapes me.

Sensing my nervousness, my father clears his throat.

“So,” he says, “That was quite a shock your mother had this morning.”

I wrap my hands around the cold chain of the swing, twisting bursa escort bayan it around my arms while trying to think of an answer.


He sighs and leans back in his swing.

“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.”

I look up at him in astonishment.

“You knew?”

Chuckling softly, he says, “Of course I knew. You’re my only daughter.”

Seeing the look of disbelief on my face, he nods.

“I did know. I saw the way you looked at her.”

I blush and look back down at my bare legs, goose bumps forming in the air.

“So you don’t mind?”

“Of course not. I love you.”

“But what about Mother?”

He sighs and looks up at the strawberry-colored early morning sky. “Your mother and I don’t exactly see eye to eye on a lot of things.”

“And Bobby?”

“I’ll work on your brother,” he says with conviction.

I pause, and then say, “What exactly happened this morning?”

“The telephone woke up your mother and me this morning. It was Eva. Unfortunately, your mother was the one to pick up the phone. I still don’t know exactly what Eva said, although I can guess.”

“I kissed her,” I say abruptly. He looks up at me, surprise in his eyes.

“Well, good for you. I never thought you’d do it.”

Ignoring him, I continue, “We were together once before. After the party a few weeks ago. She doesn’t remember.”

He whistles lowly. “Wow. I couldn’t have guessed that.”

We sit in silence for a few more minutes. I let my body completely relax, my head sagging against the cool metal chains. The clean morning air kisses my skin as I drift back and forth with the wind, my feet dragging along the wood chips.

All around us, the world is waking up. I can hear people talking in their houses, making breakfast, getting into cars and driving away. In a hundred houses all along the streets, a hundred mothers flipping Sunday morning pancakes, a hundred fathers reading the paper, a hundred sons and daughters fighting over the last glass of orange juice.

I once was one of them.

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