Eva’s Friend

The door was locked. It was always locked. There was too much of a risk for me to be allowed out. Safer to keep me here, in this room where the rest of the world would not know that I existed. It was better for my Eva that way. The only relief from the room that was my prison, a pair of windows that allowed me to see out into the world. To see what Eva saw, how she was doing, if she was happy. Inside, looking through those windows, I sat, I watched, I listened, and I waited.

I tried not to think of the time when my life was more than this room. A time when the door was  unlocked, and I could visit the world as I pleased. I was able to feel, taste, touch, smell. I was alive. Even if for a little while. Because even then, I never stayed out of my room for long. Experiencing the world short snippets at a time. It was better for Eva that way. We both knew that if someone found out about me, discovered my existence, they would want to separate us, send me away. I could not allow that to happen. I would not be me without her.

                Eva had gotten her curly black hair and bright eyes with long lashes from her mother. But nothing else. With a  mother too busy trying to find her own worth at the bottom of a bottle to give anything else, a lonely and scared six-year-old Eva called out to me. To give her the love and affection that her mother could not.

                Eva and her mother lived in a rundown one-bedroom apartment, filled with cheap furniture and cigarette smoke.  The only guests the apartment saw were the men that came at night, when Eva would be forced to sleep  in the tiny closet of the bedroom. Eva also found herself put there whenever her mother flew into a drunken rage. That is where I first met Eva. In the darkness of that small, small place.  A prison, that with my help, was no longer a prison. But a place of sanctuary and escape. In that darkness I would tell Eva stories of brave little girls who had the grandest of adventures and were loved by all. Once on a visit out of my room and into the world, with cash stolen from her Mother’s purse, I brought Eva glow in the dark stars and place them on the walls and ceiling of that tiny space. When the closet door closed that night so that her mother could enjoy her evening of drinking and drugs, Eva delighted at her surprise. I had given her the stars and for the next ten years I stayed by her side guiding her through the darkness. Until I went too far.

                My purpose was and-is-to protect Eva. Many nights I had taken the beatings from her drunken mother. In the moments that her mother started to rage I would be there to bear the pain, to shield Eva from the stinging blows and cruel words. The night of the incident Eva had just turned sixteen. Her mother had come home, smelling of cheap liquor and cigarettes. She did not attempt at finding an excuse to begin the violent rage that she flew into that night. She just stated hitting and she kept hitting. When I first grabbed the knife, it was only with the intention of getting the beating to stop.  And then-then it was me that could not stop. Overkill, the prosecutors called it. I had passed the point of self- defense.

                I had not meant for things to go that far. I had not wanted Eva to get into trouble, to be placed in that facility. Waverly Mental Institution. Just thinking the name sent an icy chill through my body.  That was where Eva was put into the care of him. Dr. Weaver. He had tried to get rid of me. But Eva had refused.  And she paid for her refusal. In the end, he suggested placing the lock on the door to keep me away from the world. And I had agreed. For Eva.

                That was thirty years ago. Thirty years spent watching, through the window, as my Eva lived her life. Graduation, college, wedding day, first child—I saw it all and cheered her on from my locked room. And then one day I saw something, and I knew that my time locked away could be coming to an end. Because there were some things that my Eva could not do on her own. She did not have the heart for it and that is why she created me in the first place. Which is why I was not surprised to hear the knock on my door or a key turn in the lock a second later.

                Walking to the door I can feel my Eva on the other side. “Eva.” I open the door with tears in my eyes.

                “You’re…you’re still here.” She said with quiet surprise.

                “Of course, I’m still here. I could never leave you.”

                Eva looks around my room, a sad expression in her eyes. “I’m sorry.” Her voice cracks with emotion. “Back then, all I wanted was to go back to our little closet and lose myself in your stories and the stars. But every time I mentioned you, they would shove more medication into me. And when you were there instead of me…” her voice trailed off.

                “It got worse for you.” I remembered the way the nurses would watch, ready to pounce at any changes in Eva.

                “They said you weren’t real. That I had made you up.”  

                “I am as real as you are.” I said.

                Eva considered me a long time, as if weighing my words. Trying to decide if I was real or if she was crazy. “I wouldn’t have survived without you.” She spoke quietly.

                “No, you wouldn’t have.” It was the truth. “However, I caused you more pain because I could not control myself.”

                “You saved my life.” Eva’s voice was filled with conviction. “And now I need your help again.”

                “You want me to help Liza, your granddaughter.”

                “So, you know.” Eva did not seem surprised that I knew. I had always known what was happening in her life.

                “I have been watching.” I gestured towards the window. “I know what your granddaughter told you about her father. What he’s been doing to her.”

                “Then you know he must be taken care of?”

                I nodded yes. “Little girls must be protected. I won’t mess up, not like last time.”

                “I know you won’t.” Eva said with the confidence she always has in me. “I’ll be waiting.”

                Walking slowly to the door, my breath catches with each step closer. I place a hand on the knob, and it swung open freely. The door will no longer be locked.

4 thoughts on “Eva’s Friend

  1. WOW!!!! This is great! So, Eva has a personality disorder? That’s what it looks like. Great work!

    Christine Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3)

    Like

  2. Hi Denise, I love this story and your writing. I hope you are continuing to write, even if you don’t always publish. I now am on WordPress under wkspizer and L. W. Dixon, Jr. At this point, my WordPress writings are spiritual, but I intend to add portions of my book, The Magic Woods. Just please continue writing.
    Luther.

    Liked by 1 person

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