Evie produced a ruler from a draw and measured the distance between five Russian dolls that faced directly outwards on a dust-free glass shelf. The dolls weren’t separated by a uniform distance rather than by a distance that expanded; the larger the dolls got from left to right, the larger the distance between them. Evie straightened a doll that was looking a fraction to the left. The small nested doll smiled.
She soon repeated the process with five sea shells on the shelf below. From smallest to largest, the distance further between each shell. By one centimetre, then by two, then another by three and a fourth by five and a fifth by eight they continued.
The room was squared off. The bed lay directly central against the widest pink wall. Shelving was built into cavities in the wall and was lit atmospherically. Soft toys such as teddy bears and Plushie Cheshire Cats sat in the same stilted pattern against the wall beneath the window, not huddled together.
Evie straightened picture frames – pictures of her and her sister when they were born. Their tenth birthday, not smiling, with their new foster parents. Their real parents and older brother. Evie stared at the picture of the five of them.
When the twins had been nine, their parents and brother had been involved in a car crash. Their parents were said to have died instantly. Their brother was in a critical condition for weeks, but eventually slipped into a coma and died shortly after. The twins were left with each other.
With no obvious family within the country, the girls had soon been delivered to new foster parents in London.
Evie blinked. Swallowed hard. She moved away, pulled the curtains to and straightened them out belligerently.
Talli had often joked about Evie’s persnickety behaviour but Evie found that it calmed her to have control over something, even if it was just her bedroom. Besides, it was hypocritical of Talli to judge her when she had her own eccentricities and faults. It certainly beat going out at all hours of the night and getting beat up, Evie thought.