Eva Ch. 05

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The door thuds behind me as my father pulls it closed. His hand on my shoulder, he leads me through the living room, past my scowling mother, and up the stairs.

At the top of the stairs, he pulls me into a hug.

“Go take a shower, get dressed. I’ll talk to your mother,” he whispers into my ear.

“Thanks,” I say, my voice raspy.

I walk into my bedroom and grab a pair of jeans off of my desk chair and a shirt from the floor. When did I get so messy? Throwing the clothes down on the bed, I grab the rest of the mess off the floor and open my closet. I dump the dirty clothes into the hamper and a flash of blue catches my eye. I reach into the closet and pull out my graduation dress. Holding it up to my body, I look at my reflection in the mirror on the closet door. I sigh and put it back in the closet.

I scoop the jeans and shirt off of the bed and walk into the bathroom. I look in the mirror with detachment; that can’t possibly be me. Deciding to skip the shower, I pull on my jeans and shirt. As I smooth the shirt over my stomach, I know what I must do.

Running out of the bathroom, I grab my suitcase from the hall closet. I throw it down on my bed and begin flinging clothes in it, whatever I pick up. I run back to the bathroom and grab my toothbrush, my medicine, and my makeup case. These things packed, along with a picture of my family, my favorite books, and the picture of Eva and me, I pull on some sneakers and a sweater. The last thing I do before I leave is grab my stash of 200 dollars from under my bed.

As I sneak down the stairs, every footstep is like an explosion in the near silent house. Avoiding the living room where I could hear my father’s hushed, soothing voice talking to my mother, I slowly open the back door, wincing at the screech it makes as it swings open. I run around the back of the house and down the street to my car parked on the corner. I toss my suitcase on the backseat, climb in and start the car.

I’m casino şirketleri gone.

After driving down the highway for an hour, I can feel the tears burn behind my eyes. I pull over to the side of the road and put on my blinkers, the tears now rolling down my face. In less than two hours, I’ve left eighteen years of my life behind me. What am I leaving behind? I took all my finals, I can get my diploma mailed to me, and I’ve already been accepted to college. My bank account, with all of my money saved for school, is in my name.

The only thing I’m leaving behind is Eva. Eva. Not only my one-time lover, but also my best friend. My comfort, my safe haven. I don’t know if I can survive without her, but my mind is made up. I need to start over.

My eyes now dry and containing a fire of determination, I pull back onto the highway and drive to the nearest diner. I grab a twenty and walk into the diner.

The thing that hits me first is the overwhelming smell of grease, rancid and sickening. Choking back a cough, I am greeted by the middle-aged, bosomy waitress.

“Can I help you,” she asked, not unfriendly.

“Yes, please,” I say, “Do you have a pay phone?”

Smiling, she points towards the bathrooms.

“Oh,” I say, looking down at my palm, “Do you have change for a twenty?”

Seeing my tearstained face and the confusion in my eyes, she gives me an understanding look.

“Come with me, sugar,” she says with a gentle nod of her head.

I follow her past the greasy tables, gathering lewd smirks from the tough, wizened clientele of small-town rural workers, behind the counter, and through the kitchen, instantly assaulted by the intense cooking smells. Grease spits and hisses out of the deep fryers like some kind of dragon, while the oven groans and moans.

She takes me out behind the kitchen into a small room with a small table and chairs. Sitting down, she motions for me to do the same.

As I sit, she unties casino firmaları her apron and breathes a sigh of relief as she slips her swollen feet out of her sneakers.

Leaning forwards with a grunt, she takes my hands in hers. Her hands are warm and soft, comforting like my own mother’s never were.

“Tell me what happened.”

With a deep breath, I look at her face. I am somehow prepared to tell her, a perfect stranger, what I kept a secret from my family for eighteen years.

“I’m running away,” I say, “I couldn’t take it there anymore.”

“Where?”

“With my family. I was,” here I pause, “My best friend told my family this morning that I’m,” I could hardly say the word, “a lesbian. My mother and brother aren’t taking too well.”

Nodding, she sits back, the metal folding chair groaning beneath her.

“I’m in love with her and she hates me now. I’m leaving for college before everyone knows,” I continue rapidly, “I just need to start over or I’ll never be happy and may I please use your phone?”

“Sure, honey.”

From out in the kitchen, we hear, “Mandy, what the fuck do you think you’re doing? You’re not on break yet! Get your ass out here!”

“I’ll be right there Bob!” she yells back, adding, “You big blowhorn.”

She slips her feet back in her shoes and ties her apron back on. Her hand on the doorknob, she pauses, turning back to me.

“You know,” she says, “You remind me of my baby sister, Lisa.”

“She’s gay?”

Chuckling, she said, “That, too, but I was thinking of your spirit. She was so, forgive me for saying, afraid. Afraid of love, afraid of loss, but mostly afraid of being alone. You’re afraid of being alone, I can see that. Lisa ran her whole life, then God gave her a firm smack around the back of the head and she sat down to listen. You might be running away, but you aren’t really leaving them behind.”

“I know,” I say, “I don’t think I really can, can I?”

“No, sugar, güvenilir casino you can’t.”

When I stand up she slings her arm around my shoulder and guides me to the counter, like a shepherd guides a sheep to the pasture. With a smile, she sets down the phone and a piece of lemon meringue pie in front of me. I look at her, eyebrow raised.

“Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with a piece of pie in the morning,” she says with a warm smile and a wink

With a weak smile, I sit down and cautiously pick up the phone. My hands shake as I dial the number. It rings and rings, and when I finally decide to hang up I hear a familiar voice on the other end.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Daddy,” I whisper.

“Julie, is that you,” he cries, “I’ve been so worried!”

“I’m sorry. I just had to leave.”

“Where are you going?”

“I think I’m going to head up to the college,” I say, “I’ve been accepted, I might as well take some summer courses.”

With a sigh I can barely hear over the static on the phone, he replies, “Only you know what’s best. I wish you would come home, but if this is what you need to do I can’t stop you.”

“Thank you, Daddy.”

“I love you, Julie.”

“I love you too.”

“Will you promise to call me and let me know that you’ve settled in fine?”

“Yeah, I will. Bye.”

“Goodbye, love.”

With that, I hang up. I hand back the phone to my waitress and ask if I can have the pie to go. Before I leave, she hands me a slip of paper with a phone number on it, saying, “If you ever need anything.”

With my pie in hand, I climb back into the car and get going again.

The beginnings of a smile playing around the edges of my lips for the first time in a long time, I start the car and pull back onto the highway. I turn on the radio and my ghost of a smile turned into a full-fledged grin when I hear the opening strains of “Respect” start to play on the radio.

Oh, what you want, baby I got it.

What you need, you know I got it.

I crank up the volume, roll the windows down, and start singing at the top of my lungs, ignoring the confused stares of other drivers.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Find out what it means to me…

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