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Confession, Betrayal, and Brothers
Evey leaned back in the cold, metal chair. She could feel the tears welling up behind her eyes, but she would not let them out. She had been trying to hide it, trying to protect her mother and brothers; but it was impossible to hide the death of a young child. Evey’s little brother Scotty had been the meaning of Evey’s existence, her own little ray of sunshine. Now, he was gone. Mother had killed him. She hadn’t meant to kill little Scotty; it had just happened. Mother had come home late again, leaving Evey to make dinner while she drank away the misery inside; or that’s how Evey liked to think of it. That was the only reason Evey could find as to explain why Mother drank the way she did. Anyway, when mother came back, Scotty asked her where she had been; and Mother got kind of mad…
That was it. The story for what the authorities had been looking. But Evey wouldn’t give in to them. She had to protect Mother and Willem, her older brother who was serving in Iraq now, but most of all little Scotty. She was sure he was taking his place with God right now. Scotty had always loved to go to church on Sundays and talk with the pastor, Father Martin. She could see him now, a silly grin lighting up his face. Lips open so his missing tooth was in plain sight, the tooth he had lost in a “biking accident”. Mother hadn’t meant that one either…
A big man was walking through the door. He had a strange rusty-red stubble-beard and long sideburns. He was smiling a large, false smile. Evey hated him immediately. “Now, now. You must be Evelyn Muster, am I right?” He asked in a low, rumbling voice. Evey said nothing. She wouldn’t let them trick her into telling them anything. She would keep her family safe. “My name is Mr. Thitly, but you can call me Ted if you want.” Evey didn’t reply. Mr. Thitly seemed completely comfortable despite her attitude. “So,” Mr. Thitly started, smiling just as strongly as before. “Your brother, Scot. A little boy, found dead in his own house, mother missing. Brother in the Army, Sister found nearly dead upstairs. Wanna tell me what happened?” All this time his facial expressions hadn’t faltered. Not like the others they had sent in examine her. Not sympathetic or mean or too smart for their own good. Mr. Thitly was just annoying.
Evey decided that silence wasn’t going to cut it with Mr. Thitly. She would have to try harder to push this one off. “I should think it was obvious. I was trying to kill myself” Evey tried to hint as strongly as she could at the unsaid gesture of “get the hell out of here” She knew actually saying this out loud would be no good.
Mr. Thitly responded to this in an unfathomable way. He laughed. “I’m not as stupid as I look, Evelyn. I realize you trying to kill yourself. The question is why? What happened prier to the unsuccessful-yet-gruesome event of your would-be death to irk you so? Should I rephrase that?” Mr. Thitly looked even jollier than before.
“My brother died.” Evey spat at the man. At least, this time he didn’t laugh.
“I know. How?” Mr.Thitly cocked his head at an almost comical angle. But Evey didn’t feel like laughing. She wanted to gauge his eyes out and mash them up. She didn’t answer his question, but she didn’t attack him either. “So now we get quiet do we? You know, that could make us suspicious; you are a prime suspect. Your mother might've not been home; your brother definitely wasn’t so that leaves you…”
“Mother was home! She would never abandon us! Not like Dad!” Evey couldn’t believe that fat baboon would even suggest Mother abandoned them.
But when Mr. Thitly’s smile turned into a freakish grin, Evey realized her mistake. She had just told them that mother had been at the house when Scotty died. She had made her mother a suspect! Evey’s mouth fell open; and in her state of weakness, a tear wiggled its way out from her eye. The tear wasn’t alone for long. Soon her entire shirt was soaked with them. She had failed. Mr. Thitly could now infer that it was either she or her mother who had killed Scotty; and seeing as she was right here being examined, she was sure that it wouldn’t take long for them to figure out it was Mother. Now Willem and she would be tainted with a curse of a homicidal mother, Scotty was gone, and she would have to go to a stranger’s home to live. She had no other family.
Evey wasn’t done crying yet, but Mr. Thitly resumed his interrogation anyway. “You couldn’t possibly dig yourself out of a hole this big, Evelyn. You might as well tell me what happened. Get it out of your system. It’ll make you feel better, I promise.” And suddenly, Evey agreed; she saw no point in holding it in any longer in torturing herself through doing so. She had to tell his man. She had to do it.
Evey told. She told the entire story. She betrayed her mother and put her one remaining brother in danger; but she got the weight off her chest and saved her little ray of sunshine, Scotty, as well. And as she crumpled to the floor, Evey let the tears fall free for the first time in her life, somehow knowing that she was safe here. No one to hit her or forget her. No one to abandon her or hurt her. No one for her to love. And for the first time in her life, she knew Scotty was safe, too.