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At the strike of six, Evelyn was finally rescued from the brutal war she had had against her memories. She found herself in the same position she last recalled and she slowly removed her head from her hands, watching the fire child still ablaze. She breathed in ragged breaths, attempting at standing up.

She was, in fact, a little disoriented. Her head was twisting and turning in vague ways as she noticed the large concentration of moist vapour in the air, as a result of two things: the lack of open windows, and the thick coating of sweat on her body.

Her forehead shone against the sunlight, hair obnoxiously stuck to her face like a koala to its tree. She swallowed, grimacing at the pain from her throat but nonetheless managed to throw the soaked blanket off her heated body. As she stood on her feet, her eyes rolled and head spun but she found herself retreating towards the windows; despite her headache.

She approached the window and opened it, breathing in the crisp fresh air as it calmed down her pain. The sun sprinkled the trees and grass with grace, birds singing a happy melody as the soft breeze enveloped Evelyn in a tight, comforting hug.

She stood there for a minute or two, regulating her heartbeat. Once the headache was gone, she quickly chugged down a glass of water to soothe her parched throat.

Suddenly she was submerged in cold water; an attempt at adjusting her body temperature. She lay there in the bathtub, comfortably as her eyes fluttered shut and she took a nap. She awoke an hour later, feeling tranquil. It was time to go back home, thus she got dressed in the only pair of clothes she found.

They were Everest’s sweatpants and T-shirt. Nevertheless, she put them on and began her journey towards Anton’s house.

Anton was an old, frail man with a white beard and corresponding white hair who was a close friend of Eleazar and Evelyn’s godfather. He lived outside the gate as he controlled it.

Evelyn breathed in the air and slowly knocked against the oak of the door. As she waited, she watched the flowers and grass surrounding Anton’s small wooden house. The flowers varied in colour, from pink to blue to yellow to red.

The sound of the door being opened snapped Evelyn from her daze and she watched a confused countenance on Anton. He wasn’t expecting her and Evelyn knew why.

“Evelyn?” Anton muttered, glancing around at the trees surrounding the house before facing Evelyn again, “What are you doing here?”

He noticed Evelyn’s downcast expression as well as her attire. The mismatched grey sweatpants and green T-shirt stood out exceptionally as they gave Evelyn some extra weight.

Evelyn just smiled, “I need clothes,”

Then, Evelyn sat at one of the chairs surrounding the table in Anton’s house. He handed her a bowl of soup and she picked up the spoon and forced the food up to her mouth. She was not in the mood for food or for anything for that matter, she didn’t know what she wanted. Maybe an escape? Maybe a day off?

Anton watched her slightly from across the table, trying to figure out why she left for the cabin. He sympathised for Evelyn. He knew what she was going through because he saw the same thing happen to Eleazar when they were younger, except he knew Evelyn would survive even though Eleazar didn’t. Eleazar allowed the stress and hatred consume him whole.

“Just spit it out already!” Evelyn did not appreciate Anton staring at her like she might crumble any indefinite moment. She wasn’t that sensitive.

Anton took nothing at her tone instead he chuckled. “Did you go see Everest?”

He watched as Evelyn shook her head and said, “He’s probably enjoying the luxury of my kingdom,”

At her words, Anton felt confused and he raised an eyebrow, prompting Evelyn to elaborate. He knew Everest was here, in Evelyn’s kingdom, he just wanted to give Evelyn the chance to let it off her chest. Evelyn felt grateful.

Evelyn dropped the spoon, pushed the plate away and explained, “He showed up unexpectedly and unannounced yesterday morning. He came to attend the ball. I don’t even know how they heard about it before I did,”

“Did you talk to him? Privately?” Anton asked.

“Yes,” Evelyn replied, running her hand through her hair, “He dismissed me at first but then said he’s here for me. He didn’t have time to explain because Ivory walked in,”

“Do you believe him?” Anton’s inquiry came.

At his question, Evelyn delved deep into her thought. She knew Everest only wanted what is best for her and despite the number of times he hurt her, despite keeping her in the dark, she still loved him. Him with his icy blue eyes that froze her still and smile that just melted her frozen state into a puddle at his feet.

Nevertheless, her questions were still unanswered and she did not know what hurt more, him refusing to tell her the truth or him not trusting her enough. She almost laughed out loud at the similarity between Everest and her father.

“No,” Evelyn muttered. “There’s a reason why he was so reluctant to break it off and I pushed it aside, but it must be something important for him to decide to show up, knowing the risks.”

Anton nodded, understanding. He watched the grey streaks in Evelyn’s ocean-grass eyes and he knew she was in pain. “Is that why you’re so tense? Not knowing exactly why he’s here? Expecting the worst?”

Evelyn didn’t say anything, she just nodded. Then, “Anton,”

He nodded back at her with his green eyes.

Evelyn played with her food, “Why does father hate Phoenix?”

She was taking the chance of asking him. She hoped he’d answer, but like everyone lately, he didn’t.

“It’s not my place to tell you, Evelyn,” He spoke, a sad smile reaching his lips.

Evelyn nodded in understanding, but could not help feeling disappointed. She said her goodbyes after changing into a blue dress and Anton let her through into the kingdom.

Anton knew about Everest because he was the one who allowed Evelyn out to see him. He let her out for a chance to escape the suffocation that is the kingdom, but as she met and began to form a relationship with the mysterious man who called himself Everest, Anton saw no fault in it. Months later, Evelyn returned in tears as she informed Anton of the new information about Everest’s true identity. After that night, Evelyn decided to end their affair. The day before yesterday was the final attempt.

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