I watch the city lights, glancing across the balcony. Mrs. Grayson walks up to me and holds out a glass of red wine. "It helps the nerves" She explains, turning back to her bizzare painting of shades of leaves. "I know" I mutter, sipping the red liquid. My toes curl as the breeze kicks up.
"Evelyn, whats wrong?" Mrs. Grayson sits down next to me and asks, though she knows whats wrong with me.
"Nothing... Just..." I drift off, tasting the bittersweet flavor of wine on my tongue.
"Hows your mother?" Her tone is hollow.
"I don't care" I drawl, taking another sip from my glass.
It is true, I reason with myself
"You haven't talked to her since..." She drifts off. Then continues "Since the separation?"
"A week after I returned" I say curtly
"I'm sorry honey. I hope you find your way soon"
"My way was washed out by the hurricane"
"Its been what, five years?"
"Yes" I reply.
It still feels like yesterday to me, I want to add
I decide I don't want to have this conversation anymore.
I don't care about anyone but the Graysons and Ruthie anymore. Ruthie and I warmed up to each other after I came back from Florida. She is not like Margie, expecting me to spill my so called 'story' as soon as I was back. Margie and I had just... Drifted apart.
Ruthie is quiet and easy to talk to. She helped me feel beautiful again, tugging me into shops I would not dare visit, buying me clothes I had never tried.
Mrs Grayson 'adopted' me, as she called it. I lived with her since Joe's and mom's divorce. Mr Grayson is fun, but not easy to talk to.
I met Joe a few times while grocery shopping or in restaurants. I never raised an eyebrow in his direction. He had crossed the line.
Mom... Well, mom tried to talk to me once. Only once.
I was in an expensive restaurant that day, dining with Ruthie and other girls, dressed in a satiny black dress. I was looking good, with my hair piled up on my head and beautiful black gems stringed across my neck.
I was holding a glass of champaigne in my hand, watching Ruthie twirl across the dance floor with a stranger.
"Evie?" The sound of her voice startled me.
I turned elegantly, not losing control over my anger. I eyed her up and down.
She looked pretty with her hair tumbling across her shoulders in golden waves. But I had beaten her. I was much more prettier, not the stupid little girl I used to be. Her hair flowed like a waterfall behind her back. I don't know why, but it angered me.
The way she held the glass in her hand, the way she twirled a lock of hair between her hand, the way she wrapped boys like Peter around her finger.
It angered me. Some nerve that woman had.
Not mother; Not mom; Not Beverly Plunkett.
"You look so beautiful. Any boy would fall for you" She tried to say smoothly.
How hard it was for her.
I liked the way my beauty was torturing her.
"Get out of my sight" I said venomously.
She recoiled as if I had slapped her.
"I'm your mother" She said without any conviction.
"That was yesterday. Today you're just some slut who hooked up with a younger man, betrayed her husband and helped in the murder of the one man I loved" I said coldly.
I felt like throwing my champaigne glass at her, the way she had thrown her ashtray at me the night I was with Peter. I wanted to hurt her, to scream at her for betraying me, for letting Joe kill Peter, for throwing mud on a good man's reputation, for ripping from me the first boy I was in love with and for not giving him the justice he deserved.
"Peter loved me. Not you. That night, you didn't exist for us, that is until you found me and took me from him. If he was alive, he would've chosen me, not you" I retorted, putting my glass down and walked down the hall before she could follow. I spotted her while walking out. She looked frozen and tears were steaming down her cheeks.
She deserved it. Even though she was my mother...
I hadn't spoken to her since then.
"Evie" Mrs Grayson pulls me back into reality.
Tears well up in my eyes
"He's gone, isn't he?" I ask her the same question I had five years ago.
"Yes" The answer is simple, but carries a hell of a lot of meaning.
I rock forward and backward, tears streaming down my face.
Sometimes, I sit at the window and watch the sunset, hoping that one day, my path will be visible again... I hope that Peter would rest in peace.