Evelyn spent the entirety of the next day staring up at the endless blackness above, thinking.
She thought of Lucas, and how much she still missed him, despite her anger.
She thought of Melanie, and all the hatred and resentment she felt toward this woman she had never met.
And she thought of all the things she could say or do when she finally saw them. There were so many paths she could take, it seemed. But which one would she choose?
What if he was right? She wondered, recalling the unexpected visit she’d received the night before.
Evelyn still had no idea what she was going to do when she finally ran out of time to make up her mind – the sun had gone down, and her window of opportunity was quickly approaching.
She emerged on the surface, glancing around uncertainly for a few moments. It was difficult to see through the dining room windows from behind the hedge, but it looked like the only person inside was Becca.
Well, she can’t see me anyway. Evelyn crossed by the house easily, unseen.
She found a spot behind one of the columns in the backyard to wait. It was at just the right angle that she had a good view of the inside of the house – but also provided enough cover that Lucas should be unable to see her, were he to glance in her direction.
The minutes ticked by slowly as she stood in the cool night air, watching Lucas’ mother sitting impatiently at the dining room table.
It felt like an eternity had passed before the soft muffle of voices reached her ears. They were too far away to make out any words, but there was still one voice that stood out above the others – deep but gentle, with the tiniest hint of a twang that marked the speaker as a native of Oasis Springs…
He had not changed as much as Evelyn thought he would. He had the same spikey haircut, the same cute little goatee, and the same handsome face that made her weak in the knees. But there was an air about him – something about his body language, and the way he carried himself. He was older, more mature.
But he was still the same man she loved.
The woman beside him was nothing like what Evelyn had expected. She was pretty enough, of course. But certainly not the blonde bimbo she’d always imagined. She had short black hair and did not wear much makeup. Evelyn could tell she was a bit older than Lucas, but could not be sure of her exact age.
What makes her so special?! Evelyn thought bitterly as her anger began to flare up once more.
She continued watching, her rage still boiling, as the trio of figures took a seat at the dining room table and began talking excitedly to one another.
I can’t just stand here. Evelyn thought desperately. They were right there in front of her. All she had to do was walk in there.
Not yet. She told herself, trying to calm down. Wait until the time’s right.
Nearly fifteen minutes passed before Lucas’ father arrived.
Lucas, Becca, and Melanie practically leapt to their feet as he entered the room. They rushed over to him impatiently.
Evelyn felt something take over as she watched the scene unfold. She floated forward, her entire body pulsating with a red-hot glow.
“Are you guys ready?” Lucas’ muffled voice was difficult to make out from the other side of the glass.
“Yes!” His mother replied excitedly.
“Okay, here goes…” Mel smiled, then reached into her pocket, pulling out a small white envelope.
She looked to Lucas, who nodded eagerly. Then, she opened it.
Evelyn was just able to make out a brief cry of “It’s a girl!” before the room erupted in laughter and cheers.
Becca was squealing in delight as she jumped up and down, clutching her beaming husband’s shoulders.
Melanie had practically thrown herself into Lucas’ arms. He squeezed her tightly, and even through the glass, Evelyn could hear him laughing joyfully to himself.
Lucas pulled away from his wife and bent down, placing his hands gently over her stomach. “A little girl…” He said, as though in disbelief. “I can’t wait to meet her.” Lucas looked up at Melanie, smiling.
Evelyn could not make out her reply. But it did not matter.
He was right… She realized. I can’t.
“I bet she’s gonna be beautiful, just like her mommy.” Lucas’ muffled voice reached Evelyn’s ears as she watched him gently stroke his wife’s cheek.
Evelyn turned away then, and returned her grave. She did not look back.
She stood in the darkness for a long time, overcome with a rush of different emotions. He was right. She told herself again, her mind traveling back to the conversation she’d had with that mysterious man the night before…