Today is my first day in Euphoria Townsville. From the name, you might think it's a town but it's definitely not. It's just a good old boring village. How am I going to survive here? How will I get a decent education here? I don't know. But I'm pretty sure, I don't want to be at my parent's place anymore. If I had spent one more day in that house, I'd have gone crazy. That's why I packed all the stuffs as soon as possible and headed to this godforsaken town even if it's gonna kill me.
It's weird how a place you grew up in, filled with all your fond memories, a place which was once an epitome of happiness can suddenly turn into the saddest most depressing part of the world. All in a matter of a day. I'm referring to the day my parents died.
We were a sweet little family. Everybody's dream!
A kind dad working in a company; Sweet Mom who is a homemaker taking care of her family and a daughter to cherish their happiness with. Then one fine day, god thought "Enough" and decided to kill everything this family ever had.
My parents said it was just an emergency trip. They said they'll be back before I knew it. They said they'll get my favorite caramel candy on the way. But instead of them, at the middle of the night, I had two police officers enter our doorstep. They delivered a devastating news to me that day, which broke me forever. My parents are never coming back! Even now, I find it hard to believe. You can't just ignore 20 years of your life in just a few months.
My parents never spoke about any relatives of mine. They said we didn't have people. I've met some of their work friends but never anyone outside of that. It was okay for me to live in that bubble for 19 years, but now, that bubble is burst and it's never reforming again.
It was an absolute shock to me when Mr. & Mrs. James came to the funeral proclaiming they were my uncle and aunt. Why have I never heard of them before? They had no answer because apparently my parents had been in touch with them and didn't think it was appropriate to let me in on that fact. Now I can never know the reason.
I was practically 19 at that time and was free to do anything I want. So, of course I decided to stay in my house, politely rejecting Mrs. James's offer to live with them in Euphoria. But it took a couple of months to prove my brain how much of a bad idea that was. Because all I could ever think of was about my parents and the days we spent together. Loneliness started causing depression which slowly turned into aggression. I could feel myself changing.
And that's exactly why I finally decided to move in with my stranger cousins even though I knew was a bad idea. But I've got to do something to move on. To forget old memories and rewrite them with new ones. I must do it at least for the sake of my parents. Even though they are not here with me today, I know they wouldn't have liked if I was lonely and depressed, destroying my whole life. They wanted me to live my life and I'm gonna do just that.
"Hello, Eva! How was the journey? I'm so glad you came", Aunt Edith comes rushing out of the main gate to quickly give me a hug.
"Hey… I'm fine Mrs. James. It's cool", I say awkwardly, fidgeting with thumbs in my jean pockets. I'm not very good at emotions and expressing them in words only makes it that hard.
"Glad to know, dear. And please call me Edith. We've been waiting for you to start dinner! Great that you came on time. Come on in", she says cheerfully leading the way in.
I drag my suitcases but struggle carrying them through the mud path trailing to their home. It was this typical house which I would draw as a kid. A big white walled house with red roof which has an inbuilt chimney, covered on all four sides by a green farm. After growing up in a claustrophobic cramped apartment, this feels way too big and grand to me.
"Hey there! Let me help you with that", a muscularly built boy who is nearly my age approaches me. He gives a hand with my luggage.
"I'm Marcus, by the way", he introduces himself with a wolfish grin.
"I'm Eva", I smile timidly.
We enter the house and to my surprise, I see an entire village sitting at the dinner table. Oh my god! They sure are a very big family. Uncle James did mention about this, but I took it lightly.
Maybe my judgement is clearly visible from the face I'm making right now because Uncle James chuckles and says, "Hello, Eva darling! We are not going to eat you. So, rest assured. Come join us here".
Everyone chuckles at the joke. the mood is light. But all I feel are a bunch of judgy eyes on me. 'Judging is just human nature. You should never care about what other people think. You should only care about what other people feels because of you, because that lasts forever', my mom had said. I repeat that in my head multiple times before taking my seat on the dinner table.
"Hi everyone!", I say clumsily before settling down in my chair.
This is a disaster. I should've never come here. My overcomplicated mind keeps warning me which I try to ignore. If not this, then what? I'm definitely not ready to go back to my apartment and live that sad life again. I take deep breaths to calm myself.
Once everyone is seated including aunt Edith, we join hands and uncle James chant a small prayer to god, elders and forefathers, thanking them for putting this food on our table. After this, there's a silent prayer going on for about a minute.
By mistake, I open my eyes and am taken aback to find a teenage girl scowling at me. She exhales slowly which makes her slender nostrils flare and I shut my eyes again.
This is bad! This is definitely bad! I shouldn't have come here. What the hell was I thinking? Oh god!!