Chapter Twenty-Seven

After that day, Lucas because obsessed. There was no other word for it. Evelyn had never seen him like this before.

Day after day,

2

Night after night,

1

Before and after his long shifts at work,

4

And even on his days off,

3

Lucas spent hours poring over gardening and fishing books, tending to his plants, visiting fishing spots all over town, and using his father’s analysis machine to experiment on samples from his garden. He was determined, it seemed, to solve the puzzle that Death had given him.

Evelyn was concerned. Lucas was spending less time with her than ever. It seemed he was always up too early, or out too late. Always working, always searching for answers.

On the rare nights they did spend time together, she spent it watching him delve into a new book he’d found at the library, or spend hours researching on the computer, or tend to his garden.

5

Evelyn could still remember a time when she’d been fascinated and entertained by his nightly research – back when he was just a goofy teenager who didn’t take it too seriously, who liked showing her silly pictures of cats, or trying to teach her how the internet worked. But that boy was long gone, it seemed. The thought saddened her.

She’d tried talking to him about it a few times. “You’re wearing yourself out.” Evelyn had tried to explain. “I’m happy that you’re so passionate about this, but… I’m just worried.” She’d told him, as kindly as she could. “We barely even talk anymore… I miss you.”

9

But he just shrugged her off. “I’m still here, Evelyn.” He’d smiled. “I didn’t go anywhere. I’m just a little busier than usual, that’s all. This is for us, Ev. It’ll be worth it.”

10

But it certainly didn’t feel worth it. Lucas was spending so much time and energy trying to find this “cure”, or whatever it was, that he had no time or energy left for her, it seemed.

11

How is this supposed to be for ‘us’, Evelyn wondered sadly, when it’s just pulling us farther apart?

­————————————————————-

Weeks passed. Then one month. Then two.

Lucas wasn’t sure how much more he could take. It was like his entire life was being consumed by searching for Evelyn’s cure.

Day after day,

13

Night after night,

12

Before and after his long shifts at work,

13c

And even on his days off,

13b

Lucas spent countless, boring hours sitting in the library, or clutching a fishing pole, or squinting at analysis results, or staring at a computer screen. It was exhausting.

14

As time wore on, the whole thing began to seem more and more pointless. Is this all some sick joke? Lucas often wondered, recalling the dead end he’d reached with the plants the old woman had given him.

It felt like he’d replayed his conversation with Death hundreds of times. He told me it wouldn’t be easy. He tried to remind himself. I guess he was right… Lucas had been prepared for a challenge, but he hadn’t counted on the impact it would have on his social life.

He’d tried to see his friends a handful of times over the past few months, but as he got sucked deeper and deeper into his research, he found himself cancelling plans more and more.

17b

His parents were concerned about how tired and stressed he’d been. Lucas tried to assure them that things were just hectic at work. It was hard to tell whether or not they believed him, but their nervous inquiries had stopped… For now, at least.

15b

And Evelyn… Well, it was still hard to look her in the eye sometimes.

She knew that there was something amiss, of course. How could she not? Evelyn had tried asking him to take a break, or slow down… And Lucas wanted to, he truly did. But he simply couldn’t.

“…You feel awful about what you did, don’t you?”

“O-of course.”

“And fulfilling your promise to your little girlfriend, well… That’d be the perfect way to make it up to her, wouldn’t it?”

Death had been right. But bringing Evelyn back to life was not only the perfect way, Lucas had realized. It was the only way. The only way to escape his guilty conscience. The only way to stop feeling so stuck. The only way to finally feel normal.

19

So Lucas soldiered on, through his frustration and exhaustion. There had to be a light coming at the end of this long tunnel… Right?

 

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18 Responses to Chapter Twenty-Seven

  1. theplumbob says:

    Oh boy. I think he may burn out soon. On the other hand, I felt it was pretty ungrateful of Evelyn to say he doesn’t spend time with her because of his efforts. I mean, hello, he’s doing all this for you! So she has to wait a bit to spend some time with him, it’s not like SHE doesn’t have time…

    I probably got a bit carried away. I’m siding with Lucas so much these days it’s getting ridiculous 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ninjapigsims says:

    I hope he doesn’t lose track of what’s really important to him. If it’s not Evelyn, then all this wouldn’t be worth doing. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  3. raerei says:

    I’m reminded of the Christmas story where a poor couple give all they can to get each other perfect gifts. She sells her hair to buy him a watch chain and he sells his watch to buy her a comb.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Poor Lucas!! Hang in there buddy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lux Conant says:

    I remember the screenshot! We finally get to see it 🙂
    Why do I have a feeling things won’t work as Evelyn expects. All this work he’s doing it’s pulling him farther away from her that by the time he comes up with the right ingredients he’ll feel happy that she’s alive but maybe won’t feel like he used to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What if she comes to life then doesn’t want him anymore? Hmmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. alienphoenix says:

    I was afraid of this. It’s becoming more about easing his guilt than helping her 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hope he learns that ‘The truth will set him free’ and nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lovesstorms says:

    OH! So he’s not doing it as much to help her now, he’s doing it to ease his guilty conscious. Oh brother. 😐

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ARoseInBloom says:

    OMG! Lucas…bringing her back will NOT help you feel better. It will make you feel worse because she will expect to be your first and she’s not and everything will be sad. More sad than it is now. Lucas–just tell her and take it easy. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bugsie2016 says:

    You’re tearing the pair of you apart with all of this. You need to take a break before you get ill. Predictions: He gets ill and is unable to do anything and gets frustrated. His parents think he’s officially gone crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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