Bo pushed himself up out of the water, struggling for air. "You little b****!" Evie watched as blood from her punch slowly flowed out of his face and into the river, then she turned around to go back to Maybelle's house, but instead found Maybelle running toward her. "Evie, no! What'd ya do?!" She tried to go to Bo, but Evie grabbed her shoulders and kept her from reaching him. "Stay away from him, 'Belle." She glanced back at him. "He got what he deserves." She led Maybelle back to her bedroom, and they sat on her bed once again, in silence.
Maybelle sighed. "My.. baby." She whispered. "There's no way in heck that I can afford it. Food, diapers, clothes, furniture, toys-" She covered her face with her tiny hands and cried. Evie patted her on the back. "Bo would hafta pay child support, though, right?" Maybelle uncovered her face and shrugged. "Guess so. Evie, did you tell your mama that you left?"
Evie shook her head. "No. Why did you send Bo over?" She gritted her teeth. "Can we just not talk about him?"
"Kinda hard to do, seeing as he's the reason you're in this whole situation." Evie and Maybelle jumped when someone knocked on her bedroom door. "It's just me." Maybelle's mama stepped in with a basket of laundry, and set it on the floor. She stared at it for a while, then broke into a hysterical sob. "Oh, Maybelle, this is going drive us into the dirt!" Maybelle sighed, showing barely any emotion now. "It's not my fault, Mama."
"Not your fault? You knew we said that you needed to stay away from Bo, and you disobeyed us and let him in our house. You shoulda known he wasn't really sorry. Why would he be? He's Bo! He don't feel no emotion for nobody! You shoulda figured that out when he beat you while you were datin'! Oh, when your daddy gets back.." She trailed off.
"Don't worry, Mama. Evie already took care of Bo." Maybelle gave Evie a grimace, and Mrs. Thompson stared her down. "Oh no, Evie. What'd ya do?"
"I pushed 'im into the dirt, punched 'im, an' then I threw 'im into the river. He ain't dead, he's just a little scraped up." Mrs. Thompson laughed. "Good that. Oh, how mortifyin' it must be to be beaten by a girl in a dress. Oh, Lord!" She let out one last giggle before her face went serious once again. "Daddy's at the station, but he'll be comin' home soon. Evie, I'd advise you go home. You ain't gonna wanna be here, trust me." Evie didn't move, but Maybelle stood up.
"You know, I don't see why you think it's so different when Bo's beatin' me then when Daddy does the same damn thing!" Her mama slapped Maybelle across the face. "It ain't the same at all. Bo does it for pleasure. Your Daddy does it for discipline; to make you into a responsible adult. Your daddy ain't beatin' you, he's givin' you punishment. I'm sure Evie's daddy does the same thing." Evie shook her head. "No, ma'am. He doesn't." But then again, I've never done something bad enough to deserve a beatin'. She thought.
"Well, you're a good girl, Evie. Maybelle's always goin' an' gettin' into trouble." She gave her daughter the evil eye. Maybelle threw a pillow at her mama. "Get out of 'ere, Ma!" And so she did, slamming the door behind her. Evie was shocked. "Lord, Maybelle. Your mama's right, you know. I'm not sayin' I agree with what your papa does, but it isn't the same at all. And what you just went an' did to her- throwin' stuff and yellin' at her- that wasn't right, 'Belle."
"Whatever." She muttered. Evie began to turn out the bedroom door when she heard Maybelle's papa's footsteps storm through the house. "Shoot!" She whispered, sitting back on her friend's bed. "Maybelle!"His loud voice bounced off of the walls. The tall and buff man entered the room. He looked really angry, ecspecially when he saw Evie. "Evie, go home. Now." Evie nodded, and looked at Maybelle, who nodded to her. She left the house, and crossed the bridge, and ran all the way back home.
She pushed open the door to find all of her relatives gawking at her. "What is it?" She asked. Flora motioned Evie's body up and down. "You're a mess." Evie turned into the main floor bathroom and looked in the mirror. Her hair was undone, matted with mud and tangled in her bobby pins, her makeup was smeared halfway across her face, and her dress was covered in dirt and blood. She didn't bother cleaning up- she figured that everyone had already seen her, anyways- and she exited the bathroom.
Her mama cringed at the sight of her unruly looking daughter. "What in the hell..?" Evie sighed. "Bo Jensen got Maybelle pregnant."
Evie sat in her room, glancing around at the posters and shelves. She was all cleaned up now- her mama made her change and take a shower- and she was also in trouble. She had left without telling anyone, thrown a boy into the river, and shown up looking like a total disaster in front of everyone. Her mama was embarrassed. And Evie was too. She looked at a photo that sat in a frame on her desk- it was a picture of her and Maybelle, from last summer. They were at the county fair, eating lollipops. Evie started to cry.
Bo had completely demolished all the plans Maybelle had for her future. Evie needed to talk to her best friend. She ran out into the kitchen and dialed up Maybelle's number.
"Hey y'all, you've reached the Thompson's. We ain't able to reach the phone right now, so leave a message and we'll call ya back when we get it." Maybelle's mama's voice spoke. Evie sighed and hung the phone back on the wall. "Mama!" She called. "What, Evie?"
"I'm gonna be at Maybelle's. I'll be home before 7:00, promise! Love ya!" She ran out the door, hearing her mother yell from behind her, "You ain't leavin' this house! Evie, get back here! Evie!" She kept running, despite her mother's shouts. When she finally made it to Maybelle's, she swung open the door and ran inside. No one was there. She looked around the house for something- she didn't know exactly what- when she found a note.
I figured that you would come around here. My daddy was real mad, and so he was hitting me with his belt (which I expected) when my mama came up with an idea- an abortion. So we're on our way to the city right now to go to the hospital and plan things out. I'm real excited, Evie- after this, it'll be like it never happened; everything will go back to normal!
We'll be back tomorrow, but don't come over. I'll get around to your house sooner or later. Call tomorrow at about noon-ish, though, if you want to talk.
p.s. I'm not getting the abortion tonight or tomorrow, so quit your worrying!
Evie thrust the note to the ground. Maybelle probably didn't even know what an abortion was! And everything would not go back to normal. She couldn't believe that her friend was being so stupid. She picked the note back up and stuffed it into her pocket, then ran back to her house.
As she was running, she saw a man with a guitar, stopped in front of her house. She squinted, and saw that it was Willard. "Hey, Will!" She yelled, waving her arms as she ran for him. He turned and waved. When Evie was standing by him, she spoke again. "Will, why are you here?" He shrugged. "I have a lot of spare time on my hands. Thought that I'd come and see where you lived." To be honest, it creeped Evie out a little, but she didn't let it show. "Oh." She brushed off his jacket. "You're filthy." She smiled as she said it, so that he knew she wasn't trying to offend him. "Yeah, I know." He didn't smile back. "How 'bout I go get some of my older brother's clothes that he doesn't wear anymore, and I'll give 'em to you? Then you can run on down to the laundromat and the 25 cent showers. I'll give you the money, too. I would let ya clean up here, but my mama's home, and she doesn't take kindly to strangers showering in our home." Evie smiled again, and again Will did not. "I don't need your money or clothes. I'm doing fine, thank you."
Evie crossed her arms and stared into his eyes. "Well guess what?"
"I'm givin' 'em to ya, anyways." Evie rushed into the house and up the stairs to her room. She pulled open her top dresser drawer and grabbed her wallet, then ran into her brother Forest's room and pulled random shirts and pairs of pants from the plastic container under his bed. After making sure she had a grasp on all the items, she headed out the front door and saw Will, still standing there.
"Here." She panted, thrusting the items at him. He picked around at them, finding her brown leather wallet. "I'm not takin' all your money, Evie." He handed the wallet back to her. Evie sighed, and pulled a ten dollar bill out of it. It had been some of her birthday money from last month, but Will was worth it. "Well, at least take this." He gave her a stern look. "No." It made Evie a little uneasy seeing him unhappy, but she wouldn't give in. "Yes, Will." She shoved it on top of the pile of clothes in his arms.
"Fine. But if I take this, I get to meet your family."
Evie pondered the idea for a while. "If I let you meet my family, you gotta get cleaned up and changed. And I get to meet your friends." He immediately shook his head in denial. "No. It's not safe for you to be with them." Evie huffed. He was probably right. "Well, you're still gettin' cleaned up, then."
Willard was coming to meet Evie's family.
What had she done?