It was 12:00 AM sharp in Warsaw, Poland, and Evelyn woke up to an irksome ringing of her phone. She painfully rolled over, reached to her bedside table, accidentally slamming her hand into the razor-edged corner, half asleep, sat up and pressed ‘accept’. Evelyn did not know what she was getting herself into by answering this phone call from an unfamiliar number. Everyone else in the town of Warsaw was sound asleep, aside from her, and the voice on the other end of the phone.
“Hello…?” whispered Evelyn.
“Hello,” slurred the voice on the other end of the phone.
“Landon is that -- ” stumbled Evelyn.
“NO,” said the confident voice on the other end of the phone.
“Who is this...?” questioned Evelyn nervously.
“Shiloh,” mumbled the voice on the other end of the phone.
“Who? What business do you have calling me at this hour in the night; you are a stranger.”
Evelyn ripped the phone off her ear in such disgust and vigorously ended this terrifying call. She heard faint footsteps crunching on fallen, dead leaves with each step, just outside her window and getting closer. Evelyn tried to gather her rapid heartbeat and terrifying thoughts to fall back asleep. Five hours of complete stillness passed; Evelyn was too afraid to move a muscle. Only one more hour until the sun rises and there would be light. Suddenly, the AC kicked in and spooked her. She jumped slightly as she was not expecting another noise until her alarm in less than an hour.
At that moment she instantaneously remembered her math test. Evelyn had a math test tomorrow and completely forgot to study for it. Sirens were going off in her mind, this was the hardest topic yet, and even though Evelyn thoroughly enjoyed math she did not understand this topic even the slightest bit. Evelyn jumped out of bed, rushed over to her door, and quietly opened it to make sure nobody would catch her leaving her room so late at night. Her house was dead silent, even the sound of the door handle moving was loud. The door creaked every inch of the way open. Evelyn rushed out and raced towards the stairs. She tiptoed down each stair; strategically placing her toes down on the front of every step and letting her heal follow, hopefully not making a sound. Down in the kitchen, someone was getting ready for work early that morning, but Evelyn could not quite make out who it was. She just needed to retrieve her textbook from her bag and cram in a bit of last-minute studying before her test at school today. Her textbook. It was not in her bag. Evelyn panicked but knew she had to act as if nothing had happened because if either of her parents found out she did not have her textbook for her math test today, she would be grounded for even longer than last time. Last year, Evelyn was too caught up with all her sports, three sports every evening, that she completely forgot about her upcoming tests. She ended up scoring low; her mom decided to take away all her access to the internet, whether it be her phone, laptop, tablet; everything was taken away from Evelyn for one month. This was an effective punishment for Evelyn because she enjoyed spending time on her social media accounts talking to her friends from around the world.
Evelyn raced back up into her room jumped onto her bed. Her head hidden in her pillow so nobody could see her face, she began to cry. Evelyn laid in her bed sobbing for half an hour, her lengthy dirty blond locks dripping with tears. It is true, whether it be losing her family in the Heathrow airport to breaking eight bones, Evelyn is challenged with the worst of luck. Evelyn smelt whiffs of coffee brewing downstairs which meant someone was awake. Evelyn knew she had to hide her upset hazel eyes, the tears that were rolling down her face, her soaked dirty blond locks and start getting ready for her own day.
17 HOURS LATER…
Evelyn awoke to that irksome ringing of her phone once again, exactly one day later from last time. The exact same ringtone, exact same time, exact same number, and exact same person. Evelyn spent the next ten seconds debating whether or not to answer this call.
“Yes, it’s me, Shiloh, from last night.”
“Umm, what do you need? Why are you calling me?”
“ I just want -- I just -- I --” he paused, “ Listen, please go to the tallest pine tree you can find in
the Perku? Reserve.”
“Why? I’m scared now.”
“Tomorrow night as soon as it is dark, head there.”
Evelyn hung up once again not knowing what to think. She had never been in contact with Shiloh before, let alone heard his voice or seen his face in person. Evelyn was perplexed that she was asked to go somewhere and potentially meet the voice on the other end of the phone. Evelyn sat up, crossed her legs and stared out the window. Rubbing her finger over her moon shaped scar on the left portion of her forehead, Evelyn wondered about her childhood. Did she have parents? Or siblings? Where did they go? How did Evelyn end up with the family she has now?
Within 10 minutes, Evelyn had fallen back into a deep sleep. The remainder of that night, Evelyn was dreaming about the Perku? Reserve and how all her siblings used to go there every day after school and play hide-and-seek tag just like most kids around Poland did. It used to be the highlight of her day; she would rush out of school pushing past everyone in her way to make it to Saintjohnian Street in time to meet her siblings and race to the Perku? Reserve. There was one thing, in particular, that would not leave Evelyn’s head on a daily basis. That was her dream tonight.
Thirteen days after Evelyn’s seventh birthday, she and her four siblings headed to the Perku? Reserve just like any other day. The five kids raced to the tallest pine tree there was in the Perku? Reserve to see who would be it. Kylie, Evelyn’s only younger sister was most commonly it as she was always last to touch the pine tree. However today, Evelyn was it. She counted to 10 while all her siblings made their way to their hiding place.
The Perku? Reserve was the ideal place to play hide-and-seek tag. Towering pine trees, colossal evergreen trees, cedar trees covered every meter of bare ground; the children had to be careful where they were stepping or else they could be in danger and could easily get hurt. Daisies, Zinnias, Dahlias coated the floor. Often the four girls would walk home with bouquets of beautiful forest flowers for their mother.
“Dziesi??!” screamed Evelyn.
Evelyn raced in the first direction her feet would take her, running 30 miles an hour, hopping over rocks and swerving through all the flower beds.
“Paaaaytonnn! I see you!”
Payton, Evelyn’s older stepbrother was found. Evelyn pointing at him raced right for him, not looking where she was going; Evelyn charged right into a low-lying cedar tree branch. She knocked her forehead and fell right to the ground. All her siblings darted over, tripping over minor rocks and weaving through all the flower rows. Evelyn was lying there, blood soaking her golden, blond locks and dripping down her face. Payton ripped off his shirt and lightly dabbed it on her forehead to remove some of the blood. That did not help at all, Evelyn remained lying there motionless screaming at the top of her lungs.
Suddenly, Evelyn awoke, immediately reaching for her forehead to make sure she really was not bleeding. It was now six o’clock in the morning, so Evelyn had to start getting ready for school.
12 HOURS LATER...
Evelyn watched from her balcony; she was lost in the crashing of the waves and the tangerine beams of light reflecting off her face. Streaks of amber lining the horizon, while crimson red bordered the vivid sun. Evelyn sat still for a solid thirty minutes watching the sunset looking for the golden sparks as the sun hid behind the horizon. It was rare that Evelyn got to sit down on her own and just observe all the beauty around her as every other night she was committed to several different sports.
The sky continued to dim and darkness drew in; Evelyn’s phone call last night became more and more of a worry in her mind. She kept contemplating whether to go or not. She would have to sneak out soon as it was dusk and soon would be dark. Luckily, Evelyn’s room was on the first floor so it would be easy to climb out her window and run into the forest. It was not just the voice on the other end of the phone that kept Evelyn worried about turning up to the tree, but she had not been back to the Perku? Reserve since her accident.
“It’s dinner time. Come and sit down everyone.”
Evelyn heard those words echoing from the kitchen and knew she needed to make a run for it now. All within 2 minutes, Evelyn drew her curtains, unlocked and opened the window silently, and slid out. She was off and racing towards the Perku? Reserve where she was going to find the tallest pine tree. After 5 minutes of sprinting down multiple streets and crossing several roads, she arrived at the Perku? Reserve.
Exactly what Evelyn remembered. The Perku? Reserve smelt like fresh Christmas tree needles; even better, it was a clear night you could see every star in the milky way. Winding her way through the Zinnias, Daisies, and Dahlias, watching for every low-lying tree branch, Evelyn made it to the tallest pine tree in the Perku? Reserve.
Nobody was there. Nothing but a brand new, solid, plain black pair of sneakers.
“Shiloh?” Evelyn whispered.
There was no reply. Shiloh was not at this tree, it was just Evelyn. Evelyn stood there not knowing what to do. Evelyn was terrified. Should she take these shoes? Were they really for her? She tore off her tattered, muddy shoes and left them in the same place as the black sneakers. She cautiously put on the black sneakers and set out for home.
12 HOURS LATER ...
Evelyn once again snuck out her window and headed for the tallest tree in the forest. She was not going to give up until she met Shiloh, the voice on the other end of the phone. Skipping through the flower beds Evelyn made it to the tallest tree in the Perku? Reserve. She stopped dead in her tracks. A shadow. A boy. Shiloh. There stood Shiloh. A tall, slim boy, pale-faced stood there, watching through his beautiful hazel eyes as Evelyn approached. The two immediately connected as if they had known each other before, a long, long, long time ago.
3 DAYS LATER …
Evelyn and Shiloh continued to meet up at the exact same tree every night. Every night since their first meeting, Evelyn raced back to the same tree to find the same familiar face, now somebody she recognized. Tonight was different, she had some vital yet baffling news she needed to share with Shiloh.
“I told my mom about you and she knew something neither of us know.”
The previous night, Evelyn went home and told her mom about Shiloh and mentioned how she recognized him even though she does not recall seeing or hearing him ever before. Evelyn’s mom sat down with her and brought her back to her childhood. When Evelyn was extremely young, a tiny baby, she was found on the lawn outside of her previous parent’s house along with another little boy, who looked about 3 years of age. These kids did not have any parents and were left alone so Evelyn’s mom called the police who then brought them into an orphanage. From there Evelyn and her older brother, were adopted, separated, and brought to different families. Evelyn grew up on one street in Warsaw, whereas her older brother grew up on a completely separate street in Warsaw. For 16 years Evelyn’s mom kept this secret between herself and her husband. However, the mystery of who Evelyn’s biological parents were, is still unknown. Evelyn was shocked. She really had recognized Shiloh.
“Shiloh, we’re biological siblings.”
“Yes, I know. That’s why I got in touch with you in the first place.”
“Do you know who our parents are?”
“No. I don’t know them or remember them… But I do know that they are no longer here.
They had plans to kill us, instead, they abandoned us and killed themselves.”