A NOTE BEFORE READING: Beginning today, I am sharing short excerpts from my debut novel, The Somebody Who. Once a week, I will share a passage -- in order, beginning at the beginning. If you want to read more sooner, there’s a button over there on the left. It’ll take you directly to Amazon, no toll required. (For those outside the US, check your nearest Amazon site.)
Evelyn is quiet as she gets ready to go out. Davy is asleep in the bed. He began his nap more than an hour ago, and though she knows he probably shouldn’t sleep so much, she also is hesitant to wake him.
She tries on a third pair of slacks. There had been nothing wrong with the first pair—or even the second. This is simply her routine. The third pair is always the right pair. That’s how it has been for the longest time. And that’s how it is today.
Her slacks selected, she slips on a pair of socks, some comfortable shoes, and then she tiptoes past the bed where Davy is sleeping. She enters the bathroom they share.
Evelyn looks into the mirror as she runs the brush through her hair. It amazes her that there are so few gray strands. How has she managed to avoid those? It amazes her that she can even look anymore—that she can look at this woman whose history seems to be unraveling so quickly. So quickly, so sadly, so relentlessly.
“What are you doing?”
It is Davy. Standing at the bathroom door, his hair slept on and awry, sleep in his eyes.
Part of Evelyn wants to ignore him.
“What are you doing?” he asks again.
“Thinking about mascara,” Evelyn replies, still confronting her own reflection.
“Is that good?”
“Mmm… Depends, I guess.”
“Are you going somewhere?”
“I’m going to the mall.”
“Am I going, too?”
“No, you’ll stay here.”
“But what will I do?” Davy’s tone is beginning to change, beginning to take on the whine that drives Evelyn up a wall.
She wants to say, I don’t care! I don’t care what you do! I don’t care!
But, with her reflection standing there—observing—she can’t possibly pull it off.
All she can say is, “You’ll be fine.” And she adds, “Claudia is here.”
“Who is she?” asks Davy.
“She’s your friend.”
“Do I know her?
“You see her everyday.”
“But I don’t know what—I don’t know—”
“You’ll be fine,” Evelyn says again. As if it were a mantra. As if it might really mean something.
The woman in the mirror looks back at her and shows no sign of support.
Davy has turned and is heading down the hall. He is looking for Claudia—this person he allegedly knows. This person who will take care of him that day—who will take him on a walk, see that he is fed, and see that he is safe. And Claudia, by taking care of Davy, will allow Evelyn to go to the mall.
* * *
… to be continued on July 3rd.
In the meantime, if you want to read a short piece about the back story, click here.