”What?” he asked confused about the conversation.
”Bruno…that guy…David….he’s my half brother.” she told him.
”No, no he’s not. Evie..shut up. What are you talking about?” Bruno asked still confused.
”My father called Sammie…and now…Bruno…I don’t know what to do.” she told him through her tears.
”Eve…take a deep breath. I can almost feel you shaking. Just calm down, baby.” Bruno responded stepping away from the group.
”I don’t even know what to do, Bruno. It makes me so…so…I just…I want to scream. Why now? Why not before? Oh…and fucking get this shit, Brunz. He’s from San Diego and was at the fair the same night we were.” Evie said starting to go from upset to angry.
”Wait…what?” Bruno asked. ”What the hell?” Bruno asked her.
”Sammie said that he’s a police officer and was working there that night. I don’t even want to think about it…but it’s all right there…” Evie told him.
”Geneva..I don’t even know what to tell you, sweet heart. That’s just….I wish I could be with you right now.” he said to her. God, she’s so dramatic. ”It will be okay, Eve.. Everything will be okay.”
”I hope so, Bruno. I can’t catch a break. Like the second Sean is in my life this asshole decides to show up.” she sighed heavily trying not to cry.
”Eve…everything will be okay. I promise you.” he told her. ”If anyone knows how to get through this it’s you. You’re so strong. You can do it.” he tried to reassure her again. She shook her head as she heard him say stronger. No, no I’m not. I can’t do this anymore. I just can’t. She thought to herself forgetting she was on the phone with him as she walked toward the bathroom. ”Eve…please baby…promise me you won’t do anything stupid.”
”I promise….” she told him quietly taking a hold of leftover pain killers from when Sean hit her.
”Geneva..I love you so much. Twenty four more days. You can do it. I can do it. We can do it.” he told her.
”Okay Bruno…” she said softly holding three pills in her hand looking down at them thinking about what she was going to do with them.
”Good night, Geneva. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” he told her.
”Okay.” she ended the phone call not saying anything else to him. He heard the phone call end confused by what just happened.
Evie put the pain pills in her hands and threw them in her mouth swallowing all three at once. It can’t get much worse than this. She thought to herself as she drifted into a deep sleep.
After a few minutes sitting outside of the club smoking a cigarette and watching the people walk by him not noticing who he was he looked down at his phone. She’s not okay. Someone needs to check on her. I know her too well. ”Carly….go over to your sister’s apartment please…I’m worried about her.” he said as her sister answered the phone.
”What?” Carly asked.
”Have you talked to Sammie today?” Bruno asked.
”Yeah….” she was still confused.
”I just need you to go see if she’s okay…please…I’m scared.” Bruno told Carly. ”I think she was holding pills in her hand when I got off the phone with her….”
”Bruno…she was fine when I talked to her earlier today…” Carly answered him.
”Just please….go over there.” Bruno pleaded.
”Umm…okay..but when she yells at me for walking into her house at 2 in the morning…it’s you I’m coming after.” Carly told him sarcastically.
”Just please…and call me when you get there. I don’t care that it’s like almost 5 in the morning here…” Bruno continued to plead with Carly.
”Okay, Bruno. I’ll call you.” Carly responded hanging up the phone.
About twenty minutes later Carly walked up the stairs to Evie’s apartment trying to open it unsuccessfully. She bent down finding the extra key she had left in a corner opening the door. She opened it slowly and quietly peeking into the apartment seeing books and blankets on the floor. Carly walked into the hallway seeing the bathroom light on with a pill bottle on the side of the counter- empty. She picked it up reading the instructions to herself. Take one pill twice a day to manage pain.
”Shit…” Carly said to herself running into her sister’s bedroom seeing her curled up in a little ball on one side of the bed. ”Evie! Evie! Wake up!” Carly yelled at her sister sitting down next to her moving her toward the other end of the bed. As she started shaking her sister she heard Evie’s phone ring- Bruno’s ringtone. Evie moved her head grabbing the phone not noticing her sister.
”Eve! Are you okay?” he asked her as she felt her sister start pulling at her.
”I’m fine. I’m fine. Why?” she asked feeling her sister grab her starting to cry.
”Evie..I was just worried. You never just hang up the phone. And everything that happened….” he trailed off.
”I’m fine. I’m just really tired.” she told him. ”Please stop worrying about me, Bruno. Go back to sleep.”
”Evie…please be safe baby. I know it’s a lot right now. ” he pleaded with her. ”I love you.”
”I love you too, Bruno. It means a lot to me that you’re worried, but I’m fine. I always end up fine.” she tried to reassure herself that things were going to be okay.
”Okay baby. I love you. Good night.” he finished the conversation.
”I love you too.” she ended the call throwing the phone on the side of the bed turning to her sister. ”What the hell are you doing?” she snapped.
”Eve…he called me like worried after talking to you. What is going on?” Carly asked.
”Dad called Sammie.” Evie told her bluntly.
”Wait, what?” Carly had the same reaction as Bruno.
”Yeah…right? You’ll have to hear the story from her. I don’t want to tell it again…but he’s in San Diego and….”
”Woah. Like really? Evie..it’s never ending.” Carly responded.
”I know.” she started to cry falling into her pillow. ”It just never stops. I just want it all to stop. I just want to have a mom and dad and daughter and sisters and brothers and a wonderful husband and never have to worry about anything, ever again. Ever.”
”Sissy….” Carly leaned down hugging her sister trying not to cry herself. ”You know all of this is happening for a reason. There’s a plan and we don’t know what that plan is until its past….”
”I just don’t want this plan anymore. Can we buy a new one?” Evie said still buried in her pillow.
”Mommmmyyyyy….” they heard Lucy come in the room rubbing her eyes from sleeping. Evie lifted her head motioning for Lucy to come sit with her. ”Don’t cry, mommy. Everything will get better. I know. Bruno told me.”
”When did he tell you that, Lu-lu?” Evie asked hugging her daughter.
”Before he left.” she said matter of factly.
”Oh, Lucy. You make everything better.” Evie answered kissing her daughter on the top of her head. ”Let’s get you back to bed…”
”Mommy..I want to protect you.” Lucy said jumping in the bed next to her aunt. ”And Bruno does that when you have a slumber party.” she got under the covers closing her eyes dramatically.
Evie moved over to her daughter’s ear. ”Lucy..that’s a mommy’s job..not a little girl’s job. Go to sleep and I’ll protect you.” she was talking to a sleeping 5 year old by the end of the sentence. Evie turned to her sister who was still in shock. ”Please don’t tell him what happened, Carly. Please don’t.”
”I won’t, Geneva. But, please call me if you feel like you have to do that again. Please.” Carly said getting up from her sister’s bed. ”You have to promise…he’ll worry until his head explodes.”
”Evie… it’s a secret. It’s safe with me.” Carly said opening the door to go home. She hugged her sister good bye as she walked out the door.
”Thank you, Sissy.” she said closing the door behind her. Shit. I can’t do this. I can’t run from it. She sighed heavily turning off the light in the bathroom then walking back into her bedroom seeing her daughter on the bed. This is why I can’t do this. She laid in the bed wrapping her arms around her daughter falling asleep.
Evie took Lucy to Laura’s house the next day, a Saturday to go meet with her sisters and brother. Carly and Sammie watched Evie drive through the same shady area of the city she did months ago to meet their brother Harry. Evie was scared to see what his reaction was- and so were her sisters. But, they had to tell him. ”Eve..are we like going to Compton?” Sammie asked seriously.
”Close, honestly.” she said turning toward the small coffee shop she had met Harry at the last time. ”There he is…” she pointed to him sitting on the curb smoking a cigarette still completely unshaven and dissolved. She got out of the car before her sisters walking over to hug him. ”Hi, how are you?” she asked him.
”Well, since my long lost evil step sisters are here…” he glanced over at his other sisters rolling his eyes as Sammie and Carly hugged him. Carly pulled away making a disguisted face at the lingering smell of alcohol on him. ”I had the day off today, Cici…I don’t drink when I’m at work.” he told her.
”And where are you working? At a bar?” she asked him.
”No. I’m working at a senior center…come on..let’s go inside and you three tell me this news.” he matched his little sister’s sarcasm. He led them to the same table that he and Evie sat at ordering them all regular coffees. ”But seriously..I’m not doing shit what’s with the intervention?”
”It’s not an intervention, Harry. It’s serious.” Sammie told him.
”Soooo?” he questionined.
”Jesus Christ, Sammie. Just tell him.” Evie sighed.
”Dad called me last week.” she told him looking at his shocked face.
”What?” he asked them. ”Really?”
”Yeah…he wants to meet with us.” Carly told him.
”Oh…ummm…yeah…okay…” Harry said quietly.
”That’s not the reaction I thought we would get…” Sammie leaned over to tell Evie who was shaking his head.
”Ummm….y’all….” Harry paused for a second trying to gather his words. ”I’ve known where he’s been for a while…” His sisters stared at him in the same way confused. ”I was in San Diego a few years ago and got in some trouble…and he was the one that arrested me….” he stopped the story looking at his sisters disappointed.
”Why didn’t you….” Sammie started to talk to him.
”Just let me finish….please…it was like a really slow night….so…I was just slightly over the limit so he sat with me and we talked. He saw that I was in trouble. He asked me about why I was there and what I was doing. Then he looked at me- dead in the eyes- and said who he was. He said it had been weighing on his heart for a while. And he saw me walking and apparently I walk a lot like mom…and…he said that he knew it was me. So….he’s been helping me. Remember when I just disappeared for a little right before you started law school, Evie? And y’all are freaking out?” his sisters nodded their heads remembering how scared they were about it. ”I was in rehab in Century City. He paid for it.”
”But why didn’t you tell us? Why didn’t he want to see us? Why not then?” Evie asked in a frustrated tone.
”I asked him to talk to y’all…like when we did the family bit…it was something that we said we’d never talk about again after this. If I needed help again I could call him. But he wanted to put us in his past because it still hurt him to think of mom. I told him we were fine and didn’t need him or want to know him. And that was that. I think I saw him the last time I went down there when I was dating Yvette. But naw. I just figured it would be easier not to tell y’all about it.” he shrugged his shoulders seeing all three of them crying.
Evie got up out of her chair not saying a word. She put down a 100 dollar bill for her brother walking toward the door. As she started to open the door she turned to her sisters. ”Let’s go.”
”I can’t fucking believe you Harry. We were so worried about you then. So worried. We didn’t even know if you were alive and you tell us you were safe and with dad. I cannot even deal with this.” Sammie said leaving the table. Sammie was the last one to stand up hugging him tightly.
”I understand. I’ll call you later.” she got up out of her chair following her sisters to Evie’s car.
They drove to Laura’s house not saying a word to each other. They walked in the house still silent seeing the mess in the house where the kids were playing. Evie walked over to Lucy looking at what she was doing. ”Come on Lu-lu. Let’s go home. I need to go get some medicine.”
”But mommm…I’m not done yeeettt…” Lucy answered looking up with a sad face.
”You can do it at home.” Evie said dragging her daughter out of the house.
”Okaaayyy…” Lucy whined walking to the car with her mother.
”I’ll call y’all.” Evie said leaving the house without saying good bye.
”I’ll be right back Lucy…” Evie said when they pulled up to the pharmacy. ”Play with this…” she handed her daughter her ipad leaving the music on.
”Mommmm…” Lucy said.
”Stay there. Two minutes.” Evie said running into the pharmacy. She walked up to the pharmacist picking up her packet of birth control and another bottle of the medicine she finished the night before. ”Okay, Luc…let’s go home!” Evie exclaimed getting in the car.
”Mommy…I know you’re sad. I don’t want you to be sad, momma.” Lucy said as she read her mother’s emotions in the car.
”I’m fine Lucy. When you get home will you go over to Jonathon’s house? I have some homework I have to finish…” she asked her daughter as they walked to Bianca’s house. Evie knocked on the door seeing Bianca standing there with Emery by her side.
”Do you have homework, Evie?” Emery asked Evie who bent down to hug Emery.
”Yes ma’am. You get to play with Lucy all day!” she told her smiling. ”I’ll be back. If it’s like seven call me and I’ll come and get her.” Evie said thanking Bianca. She went to her car grabbing her purse holding the medicine in her hand. She grabbed the pills holding onto four this time instead of three. It just needs to go away…she thought to herself swallowing the pills hearing her phone ring. ”Fuck!” she yelled picking it up.
”Baby…how are you today?” Bruno asked her. She paused not knowing what to say knowing that she was caught trying to overdose on her medication. ”Eve!” Bruno exclaimed hearing her start to cry. ”Baby….please…please…oh my gosh….Evie….”
”Bruno….I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. Harry knew. He knew…I can’t do it. I love you.” she hung up the phone throwing it across the room laying down on the couch hearing her phone ring again closing her eyes.