Eveia's world is destroyed when she's told bad news.
‘Mum and Dad are dead for definite,’ I rant, on for the third time, to the person I hate the most- my aunt. Yes, you may think 'hate' is a harsh word, but you haven't met my aunt, she's like the witch from Hansel and Gretel. We’re waiting for the doctor to tell us the news about my parents, like we have been doing for the past two weeks, every day. I’ve visited them, my parents, every day in the hospital, but there’s been no sign of waking. Whoever thought it’d be fun to drive a lorry, when they’re drunk, is stupid because, two weeks ago, my parents were in a seriously bad car accident on their way home from work. Dad picked Mum up from her crappy designer clothes shop, which never sells any of her clothes, in Manchester after finishing work at the office as he does every single day because Dad can drive and Dad's got a nice car and Mum's very, very lazy. I got a phone call from Dad saying they’d be home soon and asked if I could put the kettle on for them- I’m practically Cinderella, but really ugly! I boiled the kettle three times until I got a phone call from my Aunt saying she's taking me to the hospital because she's been informed, by the hospital, that my parents have been in an accident. Yes, they may have been, but nobody bothered to inform me, did they? We got to the hospital and waited around for hours on end until a doctor told me it’d be better if we all went home because my parents need their rest... when they were actually in a coma. And, now, they’re still in the coma in the ‘intensive care’ department.
Mum hates hospitals, she once told me she regretted having me in one because I smelt like disinfectant when she was the one who sniffed it like a drug when waking up every morning and I was the one in an Incubator with tubes stuck up my nose. I agree with Mum though, hospitals are gross. They stink all the time, they’re infected with germs and, once you step into one, it’s like you can never escape. As for Dad, well, he's a different story. He loves the hospitals, every part of them, ever since he met Mum when her sister (my extremely hated Aunt, Jenny) had once-new baby, who I see as the most bitchiest person ever! Dad had broken two ribs, at the time, when he had fallen down the stairs and that's not the only time he's been in hospital. Dad seems to want to be in the hospital all the time, like when he broke his arm, his leg, his back, when he had his appendix, when he got hit by a car twice in three years, when Mum had me (not the same!) and, now, when he's been in a bad car crash.
I’ve had everything since the accident, everything I HATE! I mean, I’ve had a social worker for a long time, but he’s a prick and I absolutely hate. Danny’s his name. He’s not cool at all and he treats me like I’m a little kid. I’m not! I’m fourteen years old, there’s a difference. I’m a teenager. He lives in London with his wife and son, but, he owns a flat in Manchester and lives there most of the time. He's meant to be one of the best social workers around and is the social worker of about four kids from Manchester and two from London, he doesn't talk about it much though. I got him when Mum began taking drugs and Dad started to beat the shit out of me, literally. I hated Dad for that, but I can't blame him, I was a very bad girl at the time. Mum made me depressive and I used to steal things from shops, break into cars for friends and anything else that's bad. Yet, I don't have a criminal record because no one knew about these things, well, except Dad when he used to find bits of chocolate wrappers around my room and then came the belt. My back is scarred and I hate wearing anything that shows it.
Danny was hired by the government to help me through school and crap because Mum wasn't helping and neither was Dad. Dad started to be away from home more often to go to the pub and Mum had to go to rehab for a while, well, for like two years. Dad would leave me on my own for days with a little bit of cash and then return to beat me up with a belt. He stopped though, when he threatened me with a knife and he realized what he was doing. He began to cry, put the knife down and gave me a huge hug.
'Sorry, sorry!' he had cried, 'I'm so sorry.'
I couldn't cry, ever since Mum went to rehab I stopped crying. I accepted his apology because he's my Dad and all. I'm scarred for life now though, not just physically, but mentally too. I used to say away from belt racks if I went into Manchester, people just thought I was crazy, but they didn't know about my past. Dad started to treat me ever so often with chocolate and magazines, but nothing very special, it's only because he owns a newsagents anyway. Mum came out of rehab after two years and it was so amazing to see her, she cried and cried and told me she missed me so much and that rehab is a nasty place. She told me never to take drugs or smoke or do anything bad. She still smokes though about 5 million fags a day. I’m surprised she’s not even dead yet! Dad started to smoke too because he didn't want anything to happen to Mum unless it happens to him as well. He smokes a lot less than that, but still he smokes. It's horrible, how could they do such a thing? I mean, come on, how can they even touch them? I tried one once, my friends dared me to do it and then, when I did they told my parents as a laugh and I got in a lot of shit. I told my Mum and Dad that I wouldn’t do it again, but they’re always checking my clothes of smoke and, when they wonder why my clothes do stink, I have to explain that they smoke every minute of the day.
I live in a counselling estate in Droylsden, Tameside. I don’t like it much because I know there’s a place out there calling my name and, unlike all my friends, I’m not a chav or a slag or a slut. I’m just me. Yeah, I wear the odd hoody, but, other than that, I base myself upon the styles and trends of the famous of Girls Aloud. They’re definitely my favourite band. I’ve always wanted to see them live, but my Mum’s skint, my Dad’s skint and I’m well… skint! But, that’s because I don’t have a job. I have every one of their albums and I must have every poster from every teen magazine they’ve been in. I’m obviously not as hot as any of them, but I try to make the styles as suitable as possible. I have a massive crush on singer Finn Taylor and so do all of my friends and I suppose every other girl does in the world, unless they’ve got really bad taste, of course! He recently performed at The Apollo in Manchester and all my friends went to watch him because their parents give them money even if it means spending the food shopping money.
My aunt decides to go and get a drink, while I sit and think about what the doctor will tell me today. She doesn't ask me if I wanted one, she never does. After five minutes of her leaving, the doctor finally comes out and walks over to me.
'Are you on your own?' he questions.
'Erm... no, she's gone to get a drink,' I tell him, 'how's Mum and Dad?'
'You're a brave girl, Miss. Strattonstone,' he tells me, 'you know that?'
I sigh and repeat what I last said. 'How's Mum and Dad?'
'Miss. Strattonstone,' he begins, sighs and then continues, 'you're father is progressing well.' He lets no sign of sadness sweep from his face, but I can tell something is wrong. My heart starts to race, faster than it has ever before. I'm scared. He stays silent for a while because he knows I’m scared, he knows I don’t want to hear what he’s about to tell me, he knows that I know what he’s about to say, ‘Miss. Strattonstone, I’m afraid your mother past a way a couple of minutes ago, we did all we could to save her.’
What am I meant to say to that? I want to cry, I wanted to scream, but I can’t. I’m not going to scream because that’s when I know the fear’s kicked in- the anger has kicked in. I cover my eyes with my hands and then I hear a faint crash and a gasp- my aunt. I look up at her and her tea is all over the floor and her face is still. She’s shaking, I’m shaking. I feel like I should hug her, but I couldn’t. She kneels down, crying, and tries to mop the tea back into the cup (not to drink it again). A nurse helps her up and tells her that she'll clean it up. She brings my aunt to the chair next to me and sits her down.
‘Which one?’ she stutters and looks up at the doctor, who's still standing there, probably wondering why there's no tears streaming down my face, but he's already called me a brave girl, ‘my sister? Why did it have to be her?’
She's obviously making out that it should be my Dad. That sets me off, the anger inside me begins to fizz and I feel my face turn red. I stand up quickly and try to shout, but the words aren't coming out. It was as if someone was turning the volume of a stereo up and down.
‘How… how could you say something like that? I… you… it…’ the tears prickle my eyes, but my body can't take the pain of a single tear, ‘You… you… you’re just…’
I break off again, unable to get the words out of mouth, they just shrivel up on my tongue. There's no one to cuddle up to when a boy breaks my heart, no one to cuddle up to when someone says my hairs frizzy or my face is ugly or my breath stinks or I smell. That’s what Mum did. Now all I have is a Dad, he’s just here to make fun of me and keep me on my feet. That’s what Dad’s are for. I don’t mind that, of course. I wouldn’t care about living in a counselling estate for the rest of my life; I just wanted my Mum back.
I visit the remains of my Mum- a dead body. No soul. No spirit. Just a dead body- a beautiful dead body. Her face was pale. Her lips blue. Her hair was still the liveliest thing on her body.
'Let's go,' my Aunt says when I'm waiting for her outside the Intensive Care department on one of the chairs.
I can't move, I don't even want to leave now. I want to stay here with Dad and keep him alive.
'Evetta, let's go now,' her tone of voice is loud, but she's too upset to shout at me, 'do you want to die here too? With no food?'
I still don't answer, I'm not going anywhere.
'Evetta!' she shouts, walks over to me and drags me up by my arm, 'we're going home too.'
I pull my arm from in her grasp. 'No, I'm staying here.'
'I'll phone your social worker up,' she tells me.
'I don't care, do what you do, I'm staying here and that's final,' I state and sit back down.
She glares at me. 'You spoilt little brat, who the hell do you think you are? It's eight o'clock, we're going home now.'
'Fuck off,' I tell her.
'Right, that's it, I'm calling your social worker,' she says.
'Do what you want, I seriously don't give a shit,' I tell her. Yes, I'm pretty bossy, but I'm moody, tired, hungry and really upset and all she cares about is going home, 'you have to go outside to use the phone, bye.'
She gives me another glare and then walks off to phone Danny up. I decide that a trip to the toilet won't do much harm with her gone, so, when I find the toilet, I walk into them and stare into the mirror. I look extremely pale and I can tell I really need to get some food in me. I don't see food as anything important at this moment though, my mum is dead, she's dead! If it was her choice, she probably wouldn't even send me to my aunts, she'd send me to my Granddad's house in Scotland to get me away from here. I've been there before, he's definitely my favourite person on my mum's side of the family, in fact, he's my favourite person in the whole family. I now have no hope, I'm scared my dad will die too or that he's too unwell to look after me ever again and that I'll have to live with my aunt for the rest of my life, well, until I'm old enough to be chucked out of the house. I don't want to be adopted or fostered either, it would be one of the worst things that could happen to me.
I sit on the seat of one of the toilets, in a cubicle, and lock the door. I still feel no tears fall down my face, but I'm so angry. I begin to unravel all of the tissue and let it land it a huge pile on the floor until its all gone. There's nothing worse than losing your mum, she's one of the most important people especially if it's a good mother/ daughter relationship like Mum and me have. She's never done anything bad to me, never hit me or forced anything into me, she's just accepted me the way I am.
After about half an hour, the door into the toilets open and I soften my breathing.
'Miss. Strattonstone, are you in here?' a women calls.
No, I'm fucking not!
'Miss. Strattonstone, please come out of the cubicle,' she says in a calm and gentle voice.
Fuck off!Why can't I be left alone? I'm fourteen, I get left alone all the bloody time at home.
I hear the door close and I'm scared that's she still in the toilets, so I don't leave it. After five minutes, the door creaks again as it opens.
'Evetta, come out,' my aunt shouts, I know it's her by her horrible voice, 'Mr. Parker is here for you.'
Ooo, "Mr. Parker", hey? Since when did she get all fancy with names?
I decide that the best thing to do is get out of the toilets, so I stand up, unlock the door and then walk past my aunt to get out of the toilets. I see Danny sitting on a chair and a nurse next to him, am I going in for something?
'Eveia, what are you doing?' Danny asks me.
Danny's the thirty year old, young, kind of goodlooking social worker I was telling you about and with him being "kind of goodlooking", that means he's not that goodlooking he just has a little bit of something to him. He's tall, about 6 ft 4, I would say, and he's got short, black, spikey hair so people think he's cooler than he actually is. He's got the I'm-a-big-man look and I only ever really see him wearing suits because he's so "business-like" as my mum used to say.
The nurse leaves us all alone and exits the hallway via a door which leads into another hallway. My aunt shuffles past me and sits down on a seat next to Danny, which means there's absolutely no way I'll even sit down. She's obviously forgotten that her sister has just died and she's now more interesting in getting me in more trouble.
'Evetta, answer him,' she demands.
I lean against the wall, next to the toilets and look at the ground.
'Mrs. Mcleeva,' Danny says, 'would you mind going to get a drink for us both? Coffee for me.'
My aunt nods, a little infuriated, gets up and walks off to the cafe, which is like on the otherside of the hospital. Danny pats the seat next to him, but I just shake my head and stay where I am.
'Eveia, I'm sorry for your loss,' he says.
'But, what?' I say, thinking he's going to say something like 'but, you've got to move on'.
'But, nothing,' he says, 'you need to return to your aunts tonight, Eveia.'
'Eveia, you can't stay in a hospital, there's no where to put you,' he says.
'The chairs, I can sleep there, if not, I'll camp outside,' I say and took my hair behind my ear, 'or I'll go home.'
'You can't stay at home alone, Eveia,' he tells me, 'you're fourteen, you're not yet old enough.'
'Then let me go to my granddad's, anywhere but Jenny's.'
He sighs. 'Your granddad's too ill to look after you and unless you want to live in an old person's home, then-'
'-I don't care,' I interrupt, 'I told you, anywhere's better than that pile of shit.'
He takes another sigh. 'Eveia, if you live there until your Dad comes out then you'll be fine.'
'No,' I say, 'I'm staying here 'til Dad comes out, I can't stand it there anymore. I'm like bloody Cinderella without the good look!'
He laughs at this remark. 'Stop putting yourself down. Look, there's no where else for you to go at all.'
'Let me stay with you, I mean you probably live in a shit hole, but I said anywhere's better than here.'
'You can't live me unless you have permission off your parents, which you don't, or permission of the government.'
'Stuff the government, they're crap! They'll never know,' I say, 'it's not like you're going to do anything.'
'Eveia, it's not the point, I'm not allowing someone who's not my child to live in a flat with me, especially if I have to work everyday and besides, you'll be getting a new social worker soon,' Danny says and my mouth fall wide open.
'I'm moving back to London and I'm going to be a social worker for some other kids there,' he tells me, 'my own personal decision, Eveia, my wife and I have been talking and it's about time I wasn't away from home as much, especially in Manchester. Your new social worker's nice anyway, he's called Peter and he'll take good care of you.'
'Danny, no!' I say, 'I don't even want you.'
He smiles a little, 'it's until you get your own place, then it'll be fine.'
'What? And be on benefits for the rest of my life?'
'Don't be silly, you'll only be on benefits if you don't try and get a job and even with that you won't get it because you're not disabled or anything,' Danny says.
I see a couple of nurses walk past us in a very fast pace.
'Don't worry, probably some kind of operation needing some help,' Danny tells me.
'Danny,' I say.
'Like, if Dad like erm... passed away, what would I do?'
'Your dad will be fine,' he tells me.
'No, but if,' I say.
'If he does,' Danny says, 'there are a couple of options, your aunt could decide to adopt you.'
'No way!' I scream.
'There will be a court case to see if she's suitable,' he tells me, 'if not, you would be put into a home until someone decides to foster or adopt you.'
'And what if I don't want either?'
'You have no choice, Eveia,' he tells me, 'there are people who will be willing to foster you, so you-'
'I don't want another family,' I say, 'I want Mum and Dad that's it.'
'Eveia, I'm just telling you what would happen.'
I fall silent. I don't want Dad to die, I don't want him to go to. He's still got to look after me, however much he does want to still be with Mum. He's got a daughter to look after, he can't let me be taken in by my aunt, he can't let me live in a home. I don't like to live with other people except Mum and Dad, I don't even like sleepovers because I know something always happens. He can't let me eat the same soggy foods as they do or let me become ugly Cinderella for the rest of my life, I don't mind cleaning my room, but it's just lazy to make me do all the house chores.
'Miss. Strattonstone,' someone says and I look up to see a doctor standing there, I different one from before.
They've revived Mum! They must've done, however they did it, I don't know, but it's a miracle! Aww, what am I saying? Mum's dead, she'l never come back alive. Maybe Dad's awake, that's good news and maybe I can go and see him and speak to him and try and cry and tell him the bad news of Mum. Then, when he comes out of the hospital, he'll get a real job and we'll become rich and live somewhere else than a grotty counselling estate.
'Is everything okay, doctor?' Danny asks.
I look at Danny and then at the doctor. 'What's going on?'
'Miss. Strattonstone,' the doctor repeats again, 'I'm very sorry, it's unfortunate that your mother has passed away and it's very rare that we have both child's parents pass away on the same day. I'm sorry, but your father has just passed away, we did everything we could, we promise.'
And, there we have it. No family left to care for me. Dad is now dead, he's gone forever and I now have nothing left. Bring the courtcase on, I'll have to go live with my aunt. Then, the worst thing happens, I faint and wake up on a chair with a doctor dabbing my head with a wet cloth or tissue. I feel a bit distant, a bit like I haven't woken up just yet, but I have because I can hear Danny talking to a doctor and my aunt at the same time about Mum and Dad.
'What happened?' are the words that come out of my mouth
'Are you okay?' someone asks me, most likely one of the doctors, 'how are you feeling?'
'My head hurts,' I groan and place a hand on my head, 'did I pass out or something?'
'Yes, you did,' I'm told by Danny.
'We'll keep her here for the night, okay?' the doctor, dabbing my head with the tissue, tells my aunt and she agrees straight away.
So, I'm taken to some sort of a room after my aunt leaves and told to get a good night sleep and I should then be better in the morning. I've never known hospitals to actually keep people in if they've just fainted, but it seems they do with some people. I just hope I can wake up in the morning and be back at home with my mum calling me down for breakfast, if only that would happen. Bring on the courtcase or the home, just get me out of here.