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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 26
The funeral for Lori was quite small. And unlike Ash’s funeral, the preacher man who was there gave the eulogy, not me. I was surprised that my dad and Nina had the nerve to even show up. Mom and I had come to it obviously, but those two traitors had no business being here.
They weren’t standing right next to Mom and I, but they were standing in a spot where I could see them. And they could see me. Dad kept glancing over at me whenever he thought I wasn’t looking. But I saw him every single time.
“Evalynne, it’s over.” Kristy told me, nudging my shoulder to get my attention. I was glad that Kristy had agreed to come too. And since Kristy came, her new house guest came too.
“So, this lady was your husband’s mother?” Shaun asked me.
I nodded, “Yep, she was my mother-in-law.”
“Oh, did you not like her or something?” he inquired. I guess her could tell that I wasn’t exactly sad that she was gone.
“I liked her.” I told him. Kristy smirked at me, obviously remembering how much I’d hated her before the car accident. “At times,” I added, not meeting Kristy’s eyes.
“So you didn’t like her.” he said, a small smile spreading across his face.
“No, not so much.” I confessed. “But that was before she got Alzheimer’s. After that, I liked her just fine.”
He chuckled softly, his green eyes sparkling. “I see,” he replied, grinning.
I grinned back at him, and watched out of the corner of my eye as Dad and Nina made their way towards me. I wanted to turn around and take a run for it, but I knew that if I did, I would seem incredibly childish. So instead, I sucked it up and let them make their approach.
“Evalynne,” Dad said when they reached me. Rather then replying, I turned to look at him to let him know I’d heard him. “How are you doing?’ he inquired.
“Fine,” I told him. Then my tone grew brutal as I added, “Until you showed up.”
He sighed, looking away from my hate-filled eyes. “I’m sorry that you’re still upset with me. I just want you to know that you’re my daughter and I love you. No matter how you feel about me, I’ll always love you.”
“Yes, and feel welcome to come and visit us if you ever decide to forgive your father and I.” Nina added.
I wanted to smack that sympathetic smile right off of her face. “Believe me, that will never happen.” I remarked.
Dad nodded solemnly, looking as if he was on the verge of tears. “I just wish you could see how sorry I am for hurting you and your mother. I love your mother, I really do. But I have feelings for Nina too. I love her too.”
Right when he said that, sympathy came flooding throughout my heart. And all I wanted to do was reach out to him and help him through this. Because I knew exactly what it was like to be in love with two people at once. It left you feeling really confused and hurt and heartbroken. Sometimes it made you want to kill yourself. And sometimes it ended up hurting other people too.
But on the other hand, Dad hadn’t even had the guts to tell Mom about Nina. He was a coward. If he loved Mom as much as he said he did, he would’ve had the heart to inform her about his little affair before this. Instantly, my mood went from sympathetic to angry.
“You can apologize all you want, Dad.” I said. “But saying your sorry can’t change what you did. Nothing can change what you did.”
“I know.” he admitted, looking ashamed of himself. “If I could go back and let you two find out differently, maybe you would’ve taken it easier. Maybe then, you could forgive me.”
“Well I guess we’ll never get to find out, will we?” I snapped icily.
“Evalynne, don’t talk to your father in that tone. You’re being very disrespectful.” Nina chided me.
“Excuse me?” I retorted. “If you think that being my dad’s girlfriend makes you some kind of motherly figure to me, then you’re wrong. You are not my mom and you never will be. And even if you were, I’m eighteen. I’m a legal adult. I can do and say whatever I want. So don’t you dare tell me how to talk to my dad.”
“I will not be spoken to this way. Richard, can you please control your daughter?” she demanded.
“Why don’t we just go?” Dad suggested, eyeing his car desperately. I could tell that all he wanted to was get the hell out of here.
“I think that sounds like a good idea.” I hissed through clenched teeth.
“Fine,” Nina reluctantly agreed, giving me one last deathly glance before turning to walk away with my dad.
“Whoa, I’m sensing some tension between you and your dad.” Shaun commented.
“Yeah, there’s definitely tension between us.” I remarked.
“I’m guessing he and that chick he was with had a secret affair?” Shaun said.
“Good guess,” I replied flatly.
“Evalynne,” a familiar voice said from behind me.
“Will, what are you doing here?” I asked, turning around to face him.
“I was just taking a walk. I needed to get out of the house for a while.” he told me. Then he seemed to notice that I wasn’t the only one there. “What’s going on here?” he asked me.
“My mother-in-law’s funeral.” I informed him.
“Oh, the witch with the Alzheimer’s.” he clarified, obviously remembering how I’d described her when I told him the whole story with me, Ash, and Cole.
“Yep, that’s the one,” I replied. “So, what’s going on with you? Why’d you have to get out of the house?” I queried. “Is it your parents?”
“No, it’s my brother.” he said.
“You mean Michael?” I asked.
“Yeah, he came home from college to visit us and see the new house. He’s going to be staying with us the entire weekend.” He let out a slight groan at the thought of his brother spending the weekend with him and his family.
“You don’t like your brother very much, do you?” I asked him, already knowing the answer.
“No, not at all.”
“Why? He can’t be that awful.”
“Oh, yes he can.” he remarked. “Michael is so freakin’ prissy. It sickens me. He’s a complete prep too. I’m talking sweater-vest-preppy.”
I couldn’t help but to laugh at that. Gosh, I loved Will’s sense of humor. He was always finding a way to make me laugh. Always putting a smile on my face. “Well you can’t get anymore preppy than a sweater-vest.” I replied jokingly.
“My point exactly!” he exclaimed. “Seriously though, he needs to loosen up a bit. He’s so uptight. And he’s always kissing up to everyone too. Including my parents. Everyone thinks he’s some perfect dream-child, but they’re all wrong. Michael’s a descendant of the freakin’ devil!”
Once again, Will made me laugh. “Come on, he can’t be that bad.”
“But he is. Trust me, he is.”
“Can I meet him?” I asked. “You know, just to see how bad he really is.”
“Evalynne, I’m your friend.” Will said, his face sincere. “And as your friend, I can’t possibly put you through that kind of torture. Once you meet my brother, you’re going to be scarred for life. And every single time you see a sweater-vest, you’ll be reminded of him. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen.”
“I think I’ll survive, Will.” I told him.
“Fine, you can meet him. But just remember: I warned you.”
I nodded, “Don’t worry, I will.” I said goodbye to Mom, Shaun, and Kristy. Then Will and I made our way back to Will’s house so I could meet his allegedly awful brother.
“Will, you came back.” Michael said when Will and I stepped inside his house. “And you brought a friend.” He grinned at me, like an animal ready to pounce on it’s prey.
“Yes, this is Evalynne.” Will replied. “Evalynne, this is my brother, Michael.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” I said to him.
He grinned in response, his teeth pearly and white. I could tell that they’d been professionally bleached. And sure enough, he was sporting an expensive-looking sweater vest over his white button-down.
“So, what’s a beautiful girl like you doing hanging around with my brother?” Michael inquired, causing Will’s jaw to clench. That’s when I noticed that Kevin and Trish weren’t down here. It was just Will, Michael, and I.
“Will and I are friends.” I told him.
“I wouldn’t hang around with him if I were you. He’s quite the player.” Michael said, smirking at Will.
“Michael.” Will muttered in rage. “Shut up.”
“He’s also got some anger management problems.” Michael added, his smirk unwavering.
“Well I think he’s a nice, funny guy. And I like hanging out with him.” I remarked.
“Would a nice, funny guy cheat on his girlfriend?” Michael hissed, looking right at Will. And that’s when Will snapped. Out of nowhere, his hand was balled up into a tight fist. And that fist was getting up-close and personal with Michael’s annoyingly smug face.
“Will, don’t!” I cried. But it was too late. Will had already punched him.
“You’re crazy, you know that?” Michael said to Will, his voice ferocious.
“Shut up, or else—”
“Or else what?” Michael demanded, before Will got a chance to finish his sentence. “What are you going to do? Set me on fire, like you did with that building?”
“That wasn’t my fault!” Will shouted. “It was an accident!”
“Boys, what’s going on down here?” Mr. McKnight queried as he made his way downstairs, followed by his wife, Trish.
“Will punched me in the face.” Michael told them, his tone now pure and innocent. I could see what Will meant when he said that Michael was a kiss-up.
“William!” Trish exclaimed. “You should be ashamed of yourself! Michael is your brother, and you should respect him!”
“But Mom,” Will plead.
Instead of listening to what he had to say, Mrs. McKnight shook her head in disappointment. “Why don’t you go?” she suggested. “Go hang out with Evalynne or something. I don’t want you here right now.”
“Mom, please just listen to me!” Will was sounding desperate now.
“Go.” Trish uttered. “Now.”
So rather than continuing on with this argument, Will followed her orders and left. I followed closely behind him, but as I was walking out the door, I heard Michael call out to me. “Goodbye, Evalynne. Maybe if I’m lucky, we’ll meet again.”
I didn’t respond though. I just ignored him and slammed the door shut behind me. I already hated Michael, and I had only met him a few minutes ago. “Now do you see why I hate him so much?” Will cried.
I nodded, but I couldn’t really get myself to focus on what Will was saying. I was curious about something Michael had said. “Why did Michael say that you cheated on your girlfriend?” I asked him. “Didn’t Valerie cheat on you?”
The corners of his mouth creased down, forming a frown. He bit his lip, looking away from me. “So what do you want to do now?” he asked, disregarding my question.
“Will, answer me.” I commanded. “I don’t care if you’re comfortable answering this question or not. I just want the truth.”
“Maybe you should go back home now. You just got done with a funeral; I’m sure you’re tired.” I knew that these attempts at distracting me could only mean one thing: Michael was telling the truth. Will had cheated on Valerie, not the other way around.
“Why did you lie to me, Will?” I demanded. “Why did you tell me that Valerie cheated on you?”
“Michael just has to ruin everything, doesn’t he? He can never just let me be happy. He always has to find a way to ruin my life.” Will hissed under his breath. His hands were tightly clenched into fists at his sides, and fury clouded his eyes.
“Will, calm down. I’m not mad. I just want to know the truth.” I assured him. However, that wasn’t entirely true. I was kind of angry that he would lie to me. I was sick and tired of being lied to by people who I’d come to trust.
“Fine, you want the truth?” he demanded, his face wild with rage. “Michael’s right. I cheated on Val! She walked in on me and her best friend making out on my couch. Not the other way around. I was the one who had been cheating on her for the entire summer between junior and senior year. And she dumped me because of that. I regretted it so much though. And I felt so stupid for letting her slip away like that. I loved Val so much. I still do. But I took her for granted, and now she’s gone.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?” I inquired. “Why would you lie to me like that?”
“Because I knew that you would think differently of me if you knew. Come on, be honest. Do you still see me the same way now that you know?” he asked me.
Sighing, I decided to be honest with him. “No, not exactly.”
He shook his head, obviously upset with this entire situation. “That’s why I didn’t tell you in the first place.” He sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. “I think you should go home now, Evalynne.”
I nodded, and then turned around and walked back to my own house. I walked inside, only to find Mom sitting on the couch, staring at the TV. The weird part about this was that the TV was turned off.
“Mom, are you alright?” I asked her. She didn’t reply. “Mom?” I repeated, taking a step towards her. She still stayed mute. Rolling my eyes, I walked over to her and sat down next to her on the couch. “Mom, don’t just ignore me. It’s really getting on my nerves.” But still she ignored me, her eyes staying set on the blank TV screen.
Fed up with her, I stood up and walked upstairs to my room. When I reached it, I collapsed onto my bed and drifted off to sleep. Will was right. I was tired.