As I sit in the backseat of Impala in utter silence watching the trees fly by in the foggy window, I touch my fingers to the glass and draw a devil's trap. Dean catches a glimpse of my artwork through his peripheral vision.
"What are you, four?"
I ignore him but I smile. I'm nineteen years old and my name is Evan Winchester. That's what it says on my birth certificate because my father John Winchester, was at the hospital on the day I was born, although I didn't technically meet him until I was four years old at my mother's funeral. My mother's name was Margaret and she was beautiful. I don't remember much about her except that she was warm and kind, and she loved me. I used to dream about her every night after my father took me away and then the dreams slowly began to fade. Her scent was the first to go, then the sound of her voice, then the details of her face, the shape of her nose, and the arc of her brow. Her presence in my thoughts and dreams became more faded and ambiguous until she no longer had to appear as a person at all but a shimmer of light, or mysterious shade in the distance. I remember her eyes, blue like mine or maybe they were hazel. I remember the funeral was sunny and hot. I was sweating in my black suit under the harsh sun. Someone held me in their arms; they probably had mistaken the sweat rolling down my face for tears, but I hardly knew what was happening that day, only that my mother had left and that everyone was sad. I don't remember much of that day. When we went back to my house, I went upstairs in my room and sat on the bed. That's when he came for me. He told me that he was my father and that I would be living with him and my two older brothers from now on. I should have been scared but I wasn't. I was just excited that I wasn't going to be alone anymore. I was going to have big brothers to play with. That's what I remember most about that day. Pulling away from my house and my life with dad. I was so relieved that I cried. I cried like a baby the whole ride.
I come to realize that my big brothers aren't just a little older than me, they're grown ups. Dean, the oldest one was the cool one and Sam, the giant one, is the nice one. They take care of me when dad is away, which is often. But as much as they try to pretend otherwise, I know that I'm different from them and it's not just physically; Sam and Dean's brown hair to my jet black hair, and my blue eyes to their green. They don't look so very much alike themselves minus the eyes and even those were two different shades. It's the bond that they have together which makes me feel more left out than anything. They always get along, even when they argue. My biggest problem is that I don't know which of them I want to be more like. Dean is so cool and funny, he always knows exactly what to say to everyone to make them smile and Sam is so smart and kind. I can tell him anything and he will be there for me to listen. I don't care that we have to move from town to town all the time and I don't care that I never have time to make any friends. I have my brothers and that's all I need. Almost all I need.
When I turn six, I learn the truth about my dad and what he did for a living. I'm so frightened that I can't sleep for months without a nightmare. Dean or Sam always let me climb into their beds and let me sleep whenever it gets too bad. "Dad's a superhero." Sam tells me one night, "He'll protect us"
"But he's never here" I whimper
"He goes where there's danger" Dean says, "he'll be here if we need him. Plus, I'm here. Nothing's going to get you while me and Sammy are around."
Dean and Sam aren't always around. Sometimes dad takes them away with him and leaves me with Bobby or Pastor Jim. Bobby's house is quiet and smells bad but he takes me to the park sometimes to play baseball. He tells me I'm going to go pro one day and make my dad proud. He pitches the ball and I hit it every time and run home. I tell Pastor Jim that I want to be a baseball player and he lets me try out for the church's little league team. I make it. Everyone cheers and Pastor Jim takes me for ice cream. Dad comes back to pick me up right after. I tell him that I made the team and he tells me that we have to leave. I'm not sad. Dean and I talk about sports for hours. He knows so much that I don't know yet but he says he'll teach me. Dean and Sam get me a baseball bat when I turn seven. I think they stole it and I'm so happy that I sleep with it under my bed. Now I can protect us from monsters too.
Things don't stay happy for long and Sam is arguing with dad. Sam wants to go away from us to go to school. My name comes up a few times.
"You're going to abandon your family? Me, your brothers, everything we worked for? You expect Dean to take care of Evan on his own while I'm away? Sam, we need you!" Dad yells
"It's not Dean's or my responsibility to take care of him, Dad! I'm not going to throw my life away because of your life choices!" Sam roars back
"My life choices? You think I choose this life for us Sam? You think I chose for your mother to go like that? I'm doing what I have to do!"
"Mom's gone dad! Killing the demon will not bring her back!"
Dad grabs Sam by his shirt and slams him against the wall. Dean gets in the middle and pushes them apart.
"Sam" Dad says in a lower voice but still scary voice, "If you leave this family, if you walk out of this door, don't you ever come back"
Sam looks like he might cry but he doesn't. He walks to his bed and starts packing a bag. Dad sits down at a table and drinks some coffee. Dean is talking but nobody is listening. I beg Sam to stay.
"I'm sorry" He says, "I can't. I just can't" he tousles my hair and walks out without looking back. Dean goes after him but he comes back without him. Dad tells us to pack up, we're checking out of the motel tonight. I don't understand it. I knew that Sam and Dean's mom wasn't there. I assumed she was dead just like my mother but I never wondered how and nobody ever talked about her. When Dad went away for the first time since Sam left, I finally got the courage to ask Dean. He didn't want to talk about it; he said I was too young to understand. I told him that everyone else knows but me and it's not fair. Sam is my brother too and I want to know what's happening. He tells me to let it go but I don't. I pout and whine until he gets really annoyed with me.
"Fine. Sit down, shut up, and I'll tell you. I never want you to talk about it again, do you understand me?"
"I promise, Dean! You can trust me, cross my heart and hope to die!"
"You will hope to die if you're lying"
"I'm not, Dean. I swear. I promise!"
"Yeah, yeah okay whatever. Clam up or I won't tell you"
I pull my fingers across my lips as if I'm pulling an invisible zipper closed and give him a thumb up. I'm ready to hear the family secret that they have kept me in the dark about for years. Years later, I wonder why my father didn't tell me earlier, I'll wonder why we kept so many secrets from one another. Maybe it's because we've made it such a habit of lying to everyone on the outside and hiding who we really are, that secrecy and deceit become so much a part of our identities that we don't know how to be honest and open with each other. We were never taught how.
Dean tells me about his mother and the fire. He tells me about the yellow-eyed-demon who caused it all and about how Dad has devoted his entire life to finding and killing him. That's the real reason why Dad is always hunting. He's trying to find the demon that destroyed his family and his life. Sam was too young to remember their mother but Dad can't go a day without thinking of her. That's why they fight so much. I sit on the bed and listen but my mind wanders, does Dad ever think about my mom like that? Is he upset at me because I don't remember every detail about her anymore? Does Dad love my mom as much as he loves Sam and Dean's mom? Sometimes late at night, John would stumble inside smelling really bad. He would go to his bed and sometimes he would even cry. He would say Mary. I wonder if he ever said Margaret. I don't remember if he ever did but I don't think so. That night when everyone is asleep, I whisper her name out loud. Margaret. It's the first time I've heard her name in years. That night, I cry for my mother for the first time.
I'm eleven years old when Dean starts to worry. Dad has been gone for a week and he hasn't called to check in. His phone sends Dean's calls straight to voicemail.
"Something's wrong" He grumbles
"Is he okay?" I ask
"Yeah, I'm sure he's fine" Dean answers me absently and I don't stop to question how he would know that or wonder why I'd ask him how Dad is when he obviously doesn't know.
"We have to find him." Dean says after an hour of failed attempts to reach him
"Should I call Bobby?"
"No" He says, "This is a family issue. Get your stuff, we're going to California."
"What's in California?" I ask stupidly as I hurry to pack my things
Hey ya'll! Anyone who was reading my other story In My Daughter's Eyes, don't be alarmed! I'm still writing that story, I'm just working through a mental roadblock in my mind with it and decided to walk away for a few days so I can clear my head and start again.