Thursday June 12th 2003
The funeral was a week later.
I sat on the bench in the large graveyard, the sounds of people far away from me. My eyes were sore from tears, and my throat hurt from the screams. I hadn't slept in days- not since they sat me down and told me where mom and dad really were.
"They're with God now Evelyn. They're in paradise."
"But I don't want them in paradise! I want them here with me!"
I wrapped my arms tightly around myself as if I could squeeze the pain out, the tears, the sobs that laid deep in my chest. I wanted to yell so loud that my voice would carry away. I wanted to lay in water and let the tears stream out. But mostly, I wanted to be alone.
It was a cold day, and I wore a thick coat that kept some warmth in my small body. I was getting thinner- I didn't want the pancakes grandma made me for breakfast, or the cocoa. I just sat outside in the yard, watching the forest and praying for the wolf to come and take me away. I wasn't scared of him anymore. He was just… lonely. Logan and I hadn't told anyone of the massacre the wolf had induced. I didn't want them to know, honestly. It was like a treasured secret- the wolf- and though he had shown himself in such a horrible way, I wanted to respect that. An animal has to eat, right?
But I wasn't anything anymore. I was a cloud- drifting and distant, nothing to anchor me down. I hated people telling me they were sorry. I hated their sad faces looking at the orphaned ones. I hated everything.
"Do you want a Twizzler?" Came a sudden soft voice, and I turned sharply to see a lanky boy on the path leading to the back of the church, and in his hands were two Twizzlers. I only then remembered that they were my favourite. I gazed to his eyes- to their liquid brown, his dark hair falling to his shoulders, his skin that Native-American tan that I saw so often. He didn't look sorry for me. He looked utterly normal.
"Okay." I mumbled, and he grinned, coming to sit next to me cheerfully and handing me the sweet. I began to suck the end- like I always did- before biting it off. "Thanks." I mumbled, looking to my feet that were swinging.
"You know, I'd say sorry, but I think you've heard enough of that." He said calmly. My gaze lifted to his.
He nodded acutely, his smile disappearing. "I am sorry though, if you want to hear it."
"N-no," the wind suddenly brushed up against me, lifting my slightly curly blonde hair and making me shiver. "T-thank you, though"
He huddled closer to me. "That's alright." He bit off more, chewing thoughtfully as we looked out across the graves. "My great granddad was buried here. It's close to the reservation, and he wanted to make some kind of peace between the pale faces and us in his will."
"Pale faces?" I asked curiously.
He blushed. "Sorry. It's habit."
"No, it's okay. I've just never heard of that phrase before."
He smiled in thanks, and looked down to his feet, jiggling his right leg in the cold. When I had finished the red vine, I realised I should start heading back, but then his voice caught me off guard.
"I'm Seth, by the way."
I looked to him, seeing he was already gazing at me with his friendly brown eyes. I brought out my hand.
"Hi Seth. I'm Evelyn."
He shook my hand as a grin brightened on his face, and for the first time in what seemed like forever, I felt the corners of my mouth lift. Seth told me he was told to bring flowers for his great granddads grave, which he pointed out to me. It was by an old oak tree, bright yellow flowers at its base. I listened to his calm voice, and it lulled me. His smile was happy and genuine, and we both joked about our older siblings.
I eventually found my head was resting on his shoulder and he had a tentative arm wrapped around me to keep me warm. He was like a sun- warm and brilliant. We had been talking for a long time, and I was glad nobody had come to disturb us. He told me about the reservation and the fishing trip he was going on with his dad, and then about school. Their summer break was longer than ours, I found out.
It must have been some time later when I was awoken by my grandpa. I looked around hurriedly, hoping to see Seth somewhere, but he was gone. In his place was the packet of Twizzlers, and despite my sadness of his departure, I smiled and took them as my grandpa lifted me up in his arms to take me home.
Home wasn't our house any more. We had to move from it a few days ago to our grandparent's house- which was bigger and near Lake Ozette. My grandpa had been a fisherman- and still went fishing a lot- but now was retired. He and my grandma had a lot of Indian friends, and I had grown up going to First Beach and scavenging in the woods. It was a second home at my grandparents, full of life, but I knew it would be hard getting used to. My father had lived here all of his life, and Logan was sleeping in his old room. He had been kind enough to give me the slightly larger 'library'- as my grandpa called it. There were three big bookcases, and a low down double bed was nestled in them, a large window with a seat under it across from my bed.
My auntie Abby had this room when she was younger before she moved to Canada with her husband. She came to the funeral without her family, giving me a huge tearful hug before sobbing with grandma. Auntie Abby looked a little like my dad with her big blue eyes and wavy brown hair. She was very thin though due to her being a nutritionist and my uncle being a hockey coach. I remembered looking at their three children- Christina, Matt and Sebastian- and wondering if they had ever seen chocolate before, let alone eaten it.
She was sleeping on the sofa for the next few days before flying back to Vancouver. She had brought me some new clothes and a pair of walking boots because she knew my mom and dad couldn't afford to buy me and Logan a lot of stuff. Most of their money was going to be given to us when we were eighteen, but some of it went to my grandparents to help them with 'supplies' as the lawyer called it.
I was unpacking the last of my stuff into my new room when the smell hit me from nowhere. Mistaking it for mine, grandma had packed mom's old 'wash day' shirt, and it smelt so strongly of her that I broke down into tears. I pressed my nose into the light blue shirt, smelling her violet and baking smell, and memories of our Sunday night bake-a-thon came back to me. We baked every Sunday so we'd all have lunch supplies for the week, and sometimes she's surprise us by bringing home a cookie mix, and we'd have a cookie everyday of that week. I remembered her being in one of her happy moods when she'd do that. She and dad would be dancing to old fifties music while Logan and I baked in the kitchen, and we'd laugh underneath our hands when we spotted them kissing.
The memories were the worst for me, because I knew every person in my school was going to have their mom and dad at their high school graduation, at their wedding, at the birth of their children. It was a very lonely thought, and knowing that my grandparents were getting older made me want to wail. I had overheard the lawyer saying that if my grandparents were going to die, or they got too frail to look after Logan and me, we'd have to move to Canada with Auntie Abby.
That night, as the rain came down like mist, I thought of Seth and the Twizzlers in my bedside table drawer. I couldn't really believe somebody would just come and talk to me like that, keep me warm and let me sleep on their shoulder. The sobs gently ceased as I thought of his bright smile, and then the tears left completely. I was left with a quiet wondering if he was an angel.