After Tobias’s death, Evana stopped going to school. Cruel people and cynical minds thought she was ashamed and possibly cowed. They thought they finally broke her and put her in her place: In the shadows of anonymity. Never to be seen but always acknowledged as the village’s worst being.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. Evana never came out of Mrs Anderson’s house and Mrs Anderson did not care. She, like everybody else rejoiced in the girl’s obvious despair. She could not care less that the child was missing out on her education… One less expense for her.
Three months passed.
Evana had settled into what she mentally referred as her invisible routine. She woke up at dawn, stayed in bed and stared at the ceiling, patiently waiting for Mrs Anderson to leave the house and go to work.
When she was finally alone, she went downstairs, ate the minimum required for her belly to stop rumbling, did her dishes because God forbid she left a trace of her passage behind, went back upstairs, took a scalding hot shower and went back to bed.
Again and again and again.
She thought that this state of numbness would last long enough to assuage her anger. She was wrong.
Evana did not want to go outside because she was afraid of the people, no… she deliberately stayed in because she knew that now, people were right to fear her.
Never in her life has felt such anger, such hatred. It was a red thing too, like her hair, fiery, vivid and blinding. She could think of nothing else.
How dare they kill Tobias? How dare they take him away from her? Why?
How could they be so cruel? and why not her? Tobias was innocent of any sin! He liked her, was kind to her and he loved her hair.
He fell in love with her and she, with him. They had never hurt anyone. They didn’t, they didn’t, they didn’t!
Evana’s rage and indignation battled with her grief until they turned into a roaring fire, incinerating any sadness left in the girl’s heart. Three months and a half after the funeral, Evana woke up and instead of staring at the ceiling, she start to think. she started to plan. She started to plot.
A week later, she woke up again and this time she did not wait for Mrs Anderson to leave the house.
She took her shower, went downstairs and ate the fullest breakfast she could managed, more than she was use to eat and according to Mrs Anderson’s screeching, more than she ought to.
She ignored the hateful woman and went back to her bedroom upstairs.
Three pants, three sweaters and one dress. Three shirts. Two pair of shoes, one for summer, one for winter. Five underwear. Two bras. No socks. She stuffed it all in her school backpack.
She went back downstairs and walked into the kitchen stopping right in front of Mrs Anderson, the woman who mentally and emotionally tortured her since the day she born. The woman who hated Evana because despite her best effort, Evana never managed to hate herself.
She stood in front of that woman and told her she was leaving. She told her that she was taking with her the money Mrs Anderson owned to her mother, thousand of dollars that she had already transfer out of her foster mother’s bank account. She told her that she could not stop her and that if she tried, Evana would come back and hurt her.
She was lying, of course, not about the money but about the violence. Evana still could not stomach the thought of physically hurting anybody. However, Mrs Anderson had not such a qualm.
Her face twisted into the ugliest scowl possible and her indignation turned into a snarl of contempt, her eyes full of scorn and recrimination. She hurled insults after insults, threats after threats, trying to convince the girl to stop that foolishness and get back upstairs.
She screamed: Go to your room!
Evana said no.
She screamed: Give me back my money!
Evana said no.
She screamed: I will whip you with the buckle of my belt!
She screamed: You have no right! You killed your mother!
Evana said “You lie. My mother loved me and I love her.”
And that more than anything broke the flimsy restraint Mrs Anderson had on her volatile temper because who did that girl think she was? How dare she denied what everybody knew, what everybody have been saying since she drew breathe? Of course she killed her mother! Olivia died giving birth to that wretched girl! Of course she was guilty, of course she was a monster!
Mrs Anderson did not even realized she had raised her hand, ready to strike down that insolent and ungrateful demon, ready to beat her back into submission, however she did not except Evana’s hand to intercept the blow and grip her wrist so tight it hurts. She reeled back, appalled and frightened when the girl suddenly went right into her face and screamed.
It was chilly thing, full of rage, craziness and grief. It was a scream coming straight from the soul and tearing the belly and the throat.
The silence of Mrs Anderson’s defeat kept enveloping the house like cotton long after Evana left. Without the poor red-hair girl to berate and beat up, Mrs Anderson would live with that silence for yeas to come and eventually die with its mocking emptiness.
But Evana? Evana never looked back. She was leaving, going on the greatest adventure of her life. She would honor Tobias’s love and sacrifice by being the greatest unquiet thought greeting the world.
To be continued in part 5…
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.