Eva sat at the bar. She smelled of sweat, men and nectar. It had been a month since she had left the house and never turned back. She was not going to let Jack run her life all over again. She wasn't happy but she wasn't under his control either.
Eva: Give me something strong Nick.
Eva: Give me something strong Nick. Her only regret was leaving Carter. Leaving him behind without so much of a reason. She was in such a rage when she left the house that she didn't think about going to Carter. She just ran, like she did years ago. Besides, she didn't want Jack to ruin his life. She didn't want him to have his dreams crushed just for falling in love with her.
She sat at the bar deep in her own thoughts. The music to the bar was blasting loud. Evan had walked into the bar looking for his sister. When first walking in, he had to pear his eyes in order to see in front of him. Finally he caught a glimpse of her.
He called, but at first she did not hear him. He walked closer.
Evan: Eva....Is that you?
She turned to the sound of his voice when he called again. His face softened as he looked at her. She looked at though she had not really slept in months and her face caked with makeup to try to hide it.
Eva: What are you doing here? What do you want Evan?
Evan: I want you to come home Eva! We've been looking for you for the past month. Eva: Oh no. You're not getting me on that again. There is no way you can pay me to come back.
Evan: Why did you leave? What happened? You left without saying a word. We were looking all over for you....Carter was looking for you.
Eva: Carter? How is he? Evan: Left town a week ago. He spent everyday looking for you. Going to neighboring towns, bars, clubs, women shelters. You just left him Eva. You left him on your wedding day. And you didn't even say why you left. Papa said... Eva: Maybe I'm just what Pa said I was, no good.
Evan: That's not true Eva. Pa was wrong.
Eva: Was he? Look at me now. Back at the same place I was months ago. I used Carter to get back at you all and when the time was right, I left. End of story.
Evan: Look, I don't care. You have to come home. Evan reached for her but she pushed him back.
Eva: Don't Evan! I'm not going to back to that place. I was not happy then and I won't be happy now. That is a place to go to be alone and die. And there is nothing you or Pa is going to say- Evan: Pa is sick Eva.
The words were like sharp knives to her skin.
Eva: That's impossible. Nothing could break that old man.
Evan: I don't know, maybe all those years of drinking finally caught up with him. He's been in the hospital but there is nothing doctors can do for him. So we brought him back home. They don't know how long Eva. Evan: He's been calling for you Eva. Everyday he's been calling out for you.
Eva: ME? But I thought he hated me.
Evan: All I know is that we don't know how long he has. But he's asking for you. Come home Eva! I need you....he needs you.
Eva couldn't respond.
Eva: He needs me? For the days following, Eva took care of Jack. He could barely recognize anyone in his room. The doctor's didn't know what to do. He had always seemed in pain, always hurting with almost every breath he took. She slept in the bedroom close by to make sure she was there for him should anything happen. Evan would often tell her that she didn't have to.
Eva: I want to. Jack was becoming increasingly ill. Now he could barely get up on his own. He was weak and it showed.
Then one night as she was getting ready to tuck him into bed. He called out to her as he had done many nights before. This time, his voice was much different. Eva rushed to his side.
It was his nickname for her when she was little. Jack: There you are? My little Evie. How was school today Evaline? Did you do well on your spelling test?
Eva was confused. He was talking to her but then he wasn't talking to her.
She moved closer to him.
Jack: You're such a smart girl. I bet no one spelled the words better than you.
Jack: Sing me that song for me Evie. That beautiful song you learned in the church on Sunday
Eva couldn't remember the song.
Eva: What song papa?
Then Jack began to sing it. He held his side as he adjusted himself.
Jack: This little light of mine.....I'm gonna let it shine........
She slowly started to sing with him. He grabbed for her hand as he struggled to speak. His voice barely over a whisper. He was in pain.
Jack: Eva! What have I done to my little girl? I left you all alone. I left you to be by yourself. I love my little Evie. I really do. I just don't know what came over me....I'm sorry baby. Papa is so sorry.
He let her hand go and laid back in the bed.
Eva didn't know what to do. She just sat there. Staring at him.
She placed her hand on his chest.
Eva: Still breathing.
She stood there for what seemed like hours. Eva got up from the chair.
Tears began to fall down her face. She could not remember the last time he said he loved her. For years she had stayed away, waiting and hoping that he would welcome her back with open arms. But he never did, at least, not until now. She tucked him in bed and kissed him on the forehead. He was resting peacefully.
She sat back in the chair and watched him. Jack had took his last breath that night. It was small funeral with close friends and family. Eva was the most upset within the crowd of mourners. It was hard knowing that she would not see him again. They did not have the best father-daughter relationship. But deep down, she wished they would have ended on a better note.
As they finished lowering his body others began to walk away. All except Eva. Isis came to her side.
Isis: He really loved you Eva.
Eva: Funny, everyone knew about it except me.
Isis: Do you want me to stay with you?
Eva: No. I need to be alone. She was there by herself. Slowly she began to break down. She held herself and knelt down on the ground close to her father's grave. She sat there as the tears poured down her face. It was there that she released all the pain and anger, the regret and the guilt. She cried away nearly 10 years of her life. After the funeral the family cleaned up the house once all the guests had arrived.
Tina: What do we do now mommy?
Isis: I don't know baby. I really don't know. Meanwhile, Eva laid upstairs. She had not said much to anyone during the dinner and left early to the bedroom to be alone. There were too many people around. Too many talking about how much they knew Jack and the good memories they shared. She was like a ghost in the home. She barely spoke. She barely ate. For days she went without even bathing. If it wasn't for Evan with the help of Isis. He picked his sister up out of bed and placed her in a warm tub to bathe.
Isis: What are you thinking about Eva?
But she didn't respond back. Evan and Tina sat playing chess for hours.
Tina: Check mate
Evan: Looks like Pa taught you how to play.
Evan: I never learned as quickly. You and Eva are fast learners.
Tina: Is she okay daddy.
Evan: I hope so. It took a while before the family lawyer would arrive back to explain their parent's will.
Evan had worked hard to rebuild some of the house to the way it was before their mother past away. Isis had purchased a few updated items for the house as well with Eva's help. The three of them sat in the living room as the lawyer read the will.
Evan: I never knew mom and dad HAD a will.
By the end of the reading, Jake had left everything to both Eva and Evan to split equally. But he left the house to Eva. "I have done you so wrong my child. And it is the least I can do".
According to the lawyer Jake had updated the will just a few weeks before he died.
Eva: He thought about me.
Eva looked around the house. She closed her eyes and could remember all the laughter and joyous moments she shared when her family was whole. When her mother was there and her father was his old self.
Eva: I don't want it.
Evan: Don't want what?
Eva: I don't want the house. You have it Evan.
Evan: But it's yours. Just like Pa wanted.
Eva: And I want to give it to you.
Isis: Eva Eva: No. I've made my mind. You two have taken care of this house for a long time. It is more yours than mine. Besides, if I take it, where would you live? Where would Tina lay down? Consider it my gift to you. Evan: I'll only take it if you continue to live with us. You need a place to stay as well. And it is only right that we share it. You and me.
Eva: Then it is settled. It took months before Eva was back to herself again. But this time as she came to realize she needed more out of life. She wanted to do better. To show her Pa that she was worth something. And most importantly to show herself. She went to the community college just outside of town. There she stayed in her books and studied harder than any of the other students in her class. She lived at the campus library. Deep in papers and projects. By this time Evan and Isis had expanded their family. They had another daughter named Anita. Tina picked the name. She was a tiny baby with big brown eyes like her mother. But Tina loved to think of Anita as her little baby doll. As the family was growing and Eva was finding herself a new beginning, she decided it was her time to take the next step for herself.
Isis: Are you sure this what you want to do Eva?
Eva: I need to do this. Evan: But you don't have to leave. We're your family. You can stay as long as you like.
Eva: It's good to know that no matter what I still have a home here. There are so many memories. But I need to make some of my own. I have to see what else is out there. Evan: You know we're going to miss you.
Eva: I know. And I'm going to miss you too.
It was a hard goodbye but within a few days Eva was off to start a adventure of her own.
All about Eva VIII
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