I hadn't expected to receive all of this hype when I moved to this small town. I guess it started with my cousin, Alex. He was a bit annoying, but we would always hang out when he came out to visit us.
Coincidentally, Alex and I share birthdays. We were born on the same day and even in the same hospital. I was born in Riverton, but almost immediately afterwards the family moved up to Canada in Toronto.
Six months ago, my Dad died in a car accident. I was in the passenger seat when it happened. They say that Dad died instantly. I walked away with only a badly broken leg, broken shoulder, some organ bruising and a concussion. After months of physiotherapy I was finally sent to live with Alex and his stepdad Quint. My mom is still alive, but she was a hard-core drug abuser and the government placed me with our closest relatives. I was somewhat relieved. Mom wasn't exactly in the running for Mom of the Year.
Anyway, here I was, being driven by my social worker, Barb, to a town I don't even remember. I watched out the window with my forehead pressed lightly against the cool glass.
"Wake up, Evelyn." Barb called, tapping my shoulder.
"I am awake, Barb." I muttered. I pulled the hood of my grey hoodie over my head even more. God, I wish I didn't leave my iPod in my suitcase.
"Ok well I'm just letting you know that we're pulling up on the street now. You can see the house down the road already."
I stifled a yawn and sat up straight. Barb pointed out which house was Alex's and I stared at it groggily. It was never a mystery to me why Alex always visited us and not the other way around. I didn't know why, but I never really cared or bothered to ask.
We pulled into the drive way and I hopped out of the big dark blue Toyota truck. A thin layer of dirt clung to the bottom half of it from taking the gravel roads that were a shortcut to get here.
I didn't like the feeling I got from watching the woods we drove through when we took those roads. It felt as if something might be lurking inside them.
"Eevee!" someone called. I turned and smiled as my cousin Alex ran toward me. I smiled and ran into his arms.
"Hey, Lex!" I laughed, hugging him tightly. It felt like such a long time ago that I had been hugged. My friends back in Toronto seemed to think that I was too fragile to hug after the accident and soon I just lost connection with all of them. Even though I'm pretty much back to normal.
"I'm sorry. You know, about Uncle Jerry." Alex said, stepping back so we were arm's length of each other.
I shrugged my shoulders. "It's alright."
Alex just smiled that goofy smile of his and went to grab my stuff from the back of the truck. I would have done it myself, but my shoulder just wasn't the same after the accident. It wasn't completely useless. Nobody could tell I had been injured unless I tried to strain myself. I rubbed my shoulder absent mindedly as I watched him.
You could kind of see the resemblance between Alex and me. We were both the same height and had the same color of hair. Only mine was pin straight instead of curly and my eyes were almost an electric green. Dad always said I had magical eyes. A small smile graced my lips at the memory of him.
I didn't bother to say goodbye to Barb. She said that I was all settled for everything I needed, including school. No need for her to stick around anymore. I just hope that this is the last time social services have to bother me.
"And this is your room." Alex said, gesturing to the second door on the left of the upstairs hallway. "Mine is right there." He pointed to one across the hall two doors down. I looked into my room and saw all of my stuff already inside. "Are you gonna be ok with setting things up and whatever?"
"Yeah, I'm not a total gibble." I said with a smirk.
"Good, because you're coming to the memorial service this weekend." Alex exclaimed mischievously.
"It's kind of a thing the kids around here do to commemorate the death of the Riverton Ripper"! He said with his best ghouly voice. "Plus the birthdays of the Riverton Seven- I guess Riverton eight now."
"Do I have to go?" I asked. "I don't even know who the Riverton Ripper is." I wasn't sure if I was up to going to any parties or stuff yet.
"Sorry Eevee. Frankly you ain't got a choice. I'll fill ya in on the details on the walk over there." Alex smirked. Then he ruffled my hair and disappeared in his room.
I sighed in defeat. I just hoped I wouldn't regret being roped into this whole Riverton Ripper stuff.