The New House
How long have you been holding those words in your head, hoping to use them?
Climbing out of her soft bed sheets, Eva made her way to the window; her favorite place. She loved the house she lived in with her dad. They moved five years ago: an old house that had wooden floors and a high ceiling facing Primrose Hill. She had the best room with the widest windows. Waking up, walking towards the window and looking outside made her feel calm. She would sit by the window that had blue pillows with a cup of coffee in her hand, and that was enough to make her happy.
The morning light was cold; she could already tell the ground outside would be frosted, even though it was the only the first days of September. The sky was in a light shade of lilac blue and the sun added a white light, giving paleness to the day.
She took out her phone looked through her Instagram. She thought to herself “I don’t understand women.” Maybe it was because she hadn’t been around one in a long time. For almost four years Eva did not have one single female friend. Walking towards the mirror, her reflection showed her wearing an oversized vintage shirt and striped pyjama bottoms. She sighed to herself and made her hair into a messy bun, shook her head. She thought of how humans crave trust and honesty and once that is broken what is really left? Can it really glue itself back together? Because one fall-out usually leads to many more, and Eva was looking for that glue. She shook her head, taking a deep breathe. Thinking was not something she wanted to do at this hour, but it was almost inevitable for her. Mornings always hunted her like this.
She made her way downstairs, passing by her dad’s study room to get to the kitchen to make her self a cup of coffee. She found her father lost inside of his computer probably having his fourth coffee of the day.
“Good morning please don’t tell me you finished all the coffee?”
“There should be little left,” her dad looked tired.
“Had a busy night I’m guessing?” Eva smiled, looking at his messy desk.
Her father was a novelist who wrote a successful book in his 30s. He now he was teaching at Goldsmith University alongside writing or trying to. He claimed he had nothing interesting going on in his life to get inspired. Eva disagreed. Living with his crazy 21 year old should be enough inspiration. He would spend hours and hours in his office. His office was covered with bookshelves, a wooden desk and a leather chair and next to there was an alcohol cabin where he stored his whiskies. Eva was sure he rarely went up to his room. The man basically lived in his office and never let anyone clean except him which rarely happened.
Eva went to the kitchen, got herself a cup of coffee, connected her phone to the speakers opened her playlist and started cooking them breakfast.
It had been like this for five years. Eva’s mum left her dad for another man. It was just Eva and her father; they had a pattern, and she liked that. Over the years they became friends who shared a house more than father and daughter, and she was completely happy this way. But she would often think about why her mother left her father.
She still saw her from time to time. But her mum was often travelling, and would always bring her something from her trips to be put away in a box. She was in Morocco at the moment with her boyfriend, Tim. He was a lawyer, very different from her father which didn’t make any sense in Eva’s eyes because her mum hated those people in the corporate world. She remembered her mum getting mad at her for wanting to be a lawyer. “Do you want to be stuck in an office defending people in this messed up legal system?” she would tell her, but people change. This was hard for Eva to accept, because she once saw her parents so in love.
“Dad breakfast is ready!” she yelled and brought the plates to the kitchen table.
“What happen to Dean?” he asked
She choked on her drink “That come out of nowhere. He is old news, Dad. Don’t worry I know you never liked him,”
“I never said that.”
“Trust me, Christopher, you don’t have to say it I know,” she chuckled
“Good cause I never liked the guy, he had longer hair than many of the boys you dated and please don’t call me Christopher, it makes me feel old.”
“And calling you Dad doesn’t? You are one strange man. I was thinking maybe we could watch that film I’ve been talking about tonight. I don’t have any intention to go out, what do you say?”
“Well… About tonight your mother called the other day.” said her Dad, which completely changed the atmosphere of the kitchen. Eva couldn’t remember the last time her parents talked to each other.
“She called you?” asked Eva
“Well, she Faced Timed me actually.” he said, amused.
“FaceTime you? Wow what did she want?” said Eva.
“She came back to London and wanted to have dinner with us, so I said that they could come over tonight,” said her Dad.
Even though she wanted to keep a straight face; she couldn’t help her eye twitching, her throat getting dry and hands getting sweaty. Eva didn’t know what to say or how to feel. It had been five years since the three of them spent time together.
“Do you want to? Cause if you don’t we can just come with an excuse.” said Eva
“I mean I was surprised when she told me but there should be a reason, and she is your mother, Eva. You should see her.”
“Okay.” She murmured, and the rest of their breakfast was silent except for the Stevie Wonder song coming from the background.
Eva excused herself and went to her bedroom. In her corner, she put her knees together and her face in her palms. She didn’t want to see her she really didn’t, but there wasn’t an option now since her dad arranged everything without even telling her.
She didn’t want to hear about the new fake life that she was enjoying so much. She would probably say; “Ohh Eva you would love it next time you should come with us.” No thank you she thought to herself.
But now it was inevitable she had to face her. Looking out of the window she felt 16 again.
He didn’t like her. On that day, on the bus ride home from school, this was the only thing going through her mind. She probably looked crazy, smoky eye makeup all over her face. Eva just couldn’t wait to get home and go to her mom. She was sure what ever she was going to say would make things better. Her mom always knew the right things to say. She almost ran from the bus station to home. Unlocking the doors Eva made her way to the kitchen hoping her mom wasn’t asleep. Surprisingly she wasn’t she was in the kitchen corner with a glass of wine in her hand
“Mom, why are you still awake? I am glad that you. I need to talk to you.” said Eva her voice sounding tearful.
“I’m leaving” said her mom.
“Ha where are you going?” said Eva sounding confused
“I can’t be in this house anymore. Everything here suffocates me, I can’t be with your dad anymore Eva, I just can’t “ said her mom getting up from her sit and leaving Eva alone in the kitchen.
Now she was alone in her corner again. She heard a knock on the door.
“Eva can I come in?” Her dad opened the door holding two cups of coffee. “I come in peace.” This made Eva smile.
“Look honey I’m sorry that I didn’t discuss it with you but I just think it will be good if you see your mum. She is upset and wants to reach out to you, but you keep blocking her.”
“Oh, so she said that to you? How typical making her the victim.”
“I don’t think that’s what she is trying to do, Love,” said her dad.
“I’m just angry at her dad.”
“I know, and you have to let her know. You can’t keep holding it in. It is ruining chances of you ever having a healthy relationship.”
Eva stayed silent for a while
“Look I know your mum is a great woman,” he continued.
“She is not great, Dad. Why would you say that? She left us; she left you, I get that. But why did she leave me as well? I feel like one day she woke up and realised we weren’t good enough for her. We suffocated her, so she went to Tim.” Eva was running out of breath.
She didn’t realise she was holding all of this in. In fact, she was surprised at herself for feeling this way because for a long time she kept assuring herself that she was okay. Her dad stayed silent for a while
“Maybe I should call her and tell her not to come that you are not ready yet?” he offered.
“Would you really do that?” said Eva almost sounding desperate
“Yes, honey although I think you should tell her everything maybe today is not the day. I should have considered her offer more carefully.” Her dad took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.
“Thank you, dad,” she said. Eva’s dad kissed her forehead and left the room.
She knew she escaped today but eventually she had to face her mother. She wished things were different and easier. She wish she didn’t have to parent her parent but she was stuck with the reality that she had to be strong. Then she realised she had always been the strong one. After a while of looking through her window, Eva suddenly grabbed her phone and dialled a number.
The line picked up after three rings
“Hi Mum…” she said to the line
“Oh Eva! it is so nice to hear from you” her mum smiled through the phone
“Yeah, so Dad told me about tonight.”
“Yes I can’t wait to see you! Me and Tim have great news for you honey,” her mum cut in.
Eva took a deep breath and said;
“I don’t want you to come, Mum, not to our house and I don’t want to see you with Tim to hear your great news.”
“Why would you say that Eva? Don’t you care?” Her mum’s voice was tearful.
“Well I care, that’s not the thing. I am angry at you, and I think we should talk about more important things than your relationship with Tim. I don’t want my first time seeing you in a year to be with Tim. I guess you can understand that and give me some more time.”
The line went silent for a while
“How about we go for coffee sometime this week then?” Her mum sounded desperate.
“Sure mum,” Eva said
“Great! See you soon darling,” Her mum closed the phone.
Eva went out from her room and shouted at her dad: “Dad you don’t need to call her I handled it. The movie night is back on.”
Eva smiled at herself. She was in control.