Chapter 27: Flashback #6
Owen clutched the picture of Lisa so hard that his veins bulged. Evangeline put her arms around his waist from behind.
“Stop torturing yourself.” She said sombrely.
Owen said nothing. Evangeline felt his staccato breaths as he gritted his teeth and swallowed back tears. She hugged him tighter, but then decided it was better to let him mourn for the moment. “I’ll go make us tea, okay?” Evangeline put on her most hopeful smile, and kissed Owen on the cheek.
Tessa was on the couch downstairs. Evangeline could hear Tessa’s music through her headphones. She watched Tessa nod and watched her fingers move rhythmically, as if she was conducting the music herself. Every now and then Evangeline caught a whispered lyric or a count. And didn’t know why but it annoyed her that Tessa seemed so careless. So untouched by everything. Evangeline finished with the tea, but kept staring. Eventually Eva walked up the stairs and noticed Tessa’s door was closed.
And then something odd happened… She heard Tessa snicker. As if at nothing at all.
Evangeline put the cups down carefully and silently nudged open the door. She noticed the earthy smell and the open windows.
She sighed heavily.
Owen was sitting on his bed. Tears ran down his face, but he sort of smiled. Evangeline put the cups on the bedside table and nudged up next to him. She laced her fingers into his.
“Your sister is on drugs.” She said.
“Yeah, I know.” Owen replied. “I don’t know what to do about it.”
“Do you want me to talk to her?” She asked.
“That would actually be really great.” Owen said.
“Can we not talk about her?”
“It’s hurting us, what you’re doing.”
“Shutting me out.”
“You are. Worst of all, you don’t want to do anything about it. I can help. I can be here for you. I can listen to it over and over until you’re sick of telling me. But I can’t watch you do what you’re doing now.”
“Eva, stop. I just miss her, I guess. I shouldn’t have brought it up. Let’s just not talk about it.”
“No, I need you to do this Owen, I need you to talk to me.”
“You don’t know what I’m going through. I don’t know what I’m going through.”
“That’s normal though. But you have to start somewhere.”
“Why is this bothering you so much? Just drop it, okay? Yeah, I get emotional about someone who I cared about that is no longer with me. But people die.”
“But you’re blaming yourself.”
“It was my fault. And I’ll get over it. Just stop Evangeline. You can’t possibly understand what I’m going through and I don’t feel like talking about it so stop.”
“I’m trying really hard to be here for you.”
“For fuck’s sake Eva! This isn’t a pet hamster that died I can just talk myself out of feeling horrid from. A real person died. A person I loved. Don’t bring it up, don’t try and pretend like you’re breaking down some wall because that makes me want to put one between us. Just stop.”
“What is it you want from me, Owen? I can’t replace her, I can’t talk to you about her, and I can’t even make you feel better about her. So why are you even with me?”
“I can’t have this conversation right now, it’s so childish.”
“You’re the only fucking child in this room right now Owen.”
“And this is why I hope you don’t go into psychiatry.”
“Just… I’m sorry. I’m sorry. You just don’t know how much it hurts me seeing you hurt. If you don’t want to talk, that’s okay. I don’t know what I can do or say…” Owen kissed her on her forehead. She felt her frustration fade away.
“Just lie here with me and tell me everything’s going to be okay and you love me.”
“Everything is going to be okay.”