The Accident

April 26, 2013
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The night of The Accident, Mom and Dad were gone on a business trip and Delaney was sleeping over at a friend’s house. So Eden and I had the house to ourselves. We carried out the usual no-parents-home regimen and stayed up watching movies and pigging out on popcorn.

After we gobbled our way through Twilight and New Moon and started on Eclipse, Eden went out in the garage to get more food. She came back with packages of Oreos, Twizzlers, and chunks of heavily frosted red velvet cake. I dove for the Twizzlers and began tearing them into even tinier strips. Eden shoved down couple Oreos and then stopped.

“Ivie,” she announced, “I don’t like this movie. Change it.”

I rolled my eyes but stood up nevertheless. “How about ’Confessions of a Shopaholic’?” I asked.

“Yeah!” Eden exclaimed, “that’s a good one!” I put the DVD in the player and we watched Becky Bloomwood and her credit cards. After about 10 minutes, when Becky first meets Luke Brandon, Eden blurted out, “Ivie, do you think I’m fat?”

Eden frequently asked me this question but never this abruptly. “No, Eden,” I said, repeating my usual answer, “you’re as thin as a stick.”

Eden got up and stood in front of the full-length hall mirror. She frowned, and put her hands on her non-existent hips. “No, I’m not,” she said, “I’m a hippo.”

I burst out laughing. Eden had always used a somewhat serious word to describe her “fatness” but hippo was hilarious. Eden whirled around to face me. Her amber eyes flamed. “Do you think it’s funny?” she asked, starting towards me. “Yeah,” I said, “Hippo? I mean, for real?”

Tears began to form in Eden’s eyes but I felt no remorse. I raged, letting my frustration with her run loose. “You’re anorexic!” I screamed at her, “You don’t eat food so you’re not fat! Are you really that stupid?!”

“Ivie,” Eden whispered sounding deadly, “stop it.”

“Stop what?” I asked with my hands on my hips, “I must never tell a lie, Eden.”

“How dare you?!” Eden cried and she launched herself on top of me. I screamed and she screamed. We both screamed as we tore at each other.

“It’s my life!” Eden shouted.

“You’re my sister!” I shouted back, “I care about you!”

“You’re not allowed!” Eden said, “First Nathan and Pattie and now you!”

I stopped tearing at Eden and looked at her hard. “Eden, I’m worried about you.” I said, stroking her hair. She jerked away and stood up. “Well I don’t need my stupid little sister worrying about my life.” She turned around and ran out of the door. I followed her and caught sight of her white-blond hair in the dark. “Eden, come back!” I shouted, “It’s not safe!”

Eden slowly turned to face me but continued walking backwards. Once again tears were in her eyes and mascara ran down her cheeks. “I can’t,” she said, her voice cracking. I could barely hear her. “I can’t do it anymore. I have to go.”

“Go where?” My voice rose and I descended the porch steps. “Where are you going?” Eden didn’t answer me and turned back around. She ran off into the night and no matter how loud I called for her she didn’t come back. I turned back to the house and slowly climbed he steps. All night, I sat on the couch. Not eating or sleeping, just waiting for Eden to come to her senses and return home.

After what seemed like an eternity, when it was day again, I heard a knock on the door. I scampered over to it and yanked it open, ready to give Eden a big hug and apologize. Instead, I was greeted by two police officers.

“Miss Smith?” one of them asked, “are you Ivie, Eden’s sister?”

“Yes,” I squeaked.

“Are your parents home?’

“No,” I said, wanting to know what was going on, “they’re on a business trip.”

“Well, when will they be back?”

“Not for a couple days.”

The two police officers looked at each other. The second officer took a deep breath and said, “There’s something you might want.” He stepped forward and held out a crumpled note. I unfolded it and began to read.

“Dear Ivie,
Please understand me. Our fight last night didn’t cause my decision it just helped. I’ve seen the way you look at me when you think I can’t see. I’ve seen the glance Mom and Dad share when I don’t eat. Some days I woke up and wondered why I was here. I didn’t want to go to school where Nathan is all touchy-feely and Pattie bragged about her new clothing line. I didn’t want to go ballet where Madam Bissette could warn me that if I lost more weight, I could lose strength. I love you, Ivie, I really do. You and Delaney are the best little sisters I could ever ask for. Delaney reminded me of me when I was her age. You helped me realize the truth about life and that I just wasn’t meant to be here.

Throughout the letter, tears had started to roll down my cheeks. “A little boy found her washed up on the shore.” The second offer said. “Apparently she cut her face, arms, and legs, and then threw herself off the Kellway Bridge.”

I shut the door in the officers’ faces. How could they stand there telling me how my sister...died. Oh my God, I thought, she died. Eden had killed herself. I wandered blindly back to the sofa and wept endlessly. Through my tears, I saw something bright red and shiny tucked underneath the seat. I reached under and discovered a diary. Trembling, I delicately opened it and saw that it was Eden’s. I skimmed through it and saw that it was almost full with entries. I opened to a short entry and read.

Dear Diary,
Today I woke up in a bad mood. It was wet and dreary and I was sick. I didn’t eat breakfast and Mom looked so worried that I grabbed an apple that she and I both knew I would never eat. Pattie was talking about the upcoming beauty pageant. I tried to look interested but she kept giving me weird looks. Nathan kept trying to kiss me and hold my hand but I didn’t want to. Finally, Madam Bissette told me that my technique was worsening. I think the day is coming.

By the time I had read the last line, I was in hysterics. I rolled in ball crying and choking on my tears. I was inconsolable and when Delaney came home she was baffled. The diary and the note explained everything, though. She, however, ran up to her room.

It was night again and visions of Eden and me flashed through my mind. Us grinning with our double scoop ice cream cones when I was five, us riding horses at Costello Ranch, it was too much for me. I staggered to my feet and went blindly to the garage. On the top shelf, which I now could reach thanks to my growth spurt, was what I was looking for. I grasped the object and opened the side door into the clear, still night.

The full moon was shining brightly and the stars twinkled down at me. It was a beautiful night and I knew that Eden would be standing beside me, taking pictures of it. I’ll make sure to tell her about it when I see her soon, I thought. I took a deep breath and raised the gun in my hand. I pulled the trigger and then everything went black.

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