It was five years ago yesterday that my mother, Evelyn, died, and it will be four years ago in June that I started writing the book that has become, Evelyn Evolving. It took almost three years of writing and rewriting to get the story right, then another year for the book to find a publisher. A little over a month ago, I signed with Creativia Publishing to release the book, and we now have a draft of the cover, which I LOVE by the way.
No release date has been set as of yet, so stay tuned for that big announcement.
Yesterday, I spent the day at the Dallas Arboretum, wandering around to absorb the beauty of all the flowers, and couldn’t help but think of how much my mother would have enjoyed seeing them.
I took a ton of pictures and here are just a few. The pansies are for my mother. She loved those little flowers and often commented about their “happy, smiling faces” made her smile.
Now I’d like to share another excerpt from Evelyn Evolving. Warning, this scene is about sexual abuse at the orphanage where my mother lived.
Evelyn waited several long minutes after Sister left before pulling her dripping, chilled body out of the bathing tub. She dried quickly and went to the neat pile of clothes on the bench. Sitting on top of her dress was the handkerchief Sister had taken from Evelyn so long ago. The sight stopped Evelyn’s breath in her throat. She had mourned the loss of the handkerchief for several weeks after it had been taken, but in time, she had steeled herself against the pain. Compared to all the other losses in her life, this one had been insignificant.
Still, she reached out and took the soft cloth, holding it against her cheek, and cried for the brief moment of happiness it gave her.
The following week, Sister came into the bathing area again when Evelyn was there. This time, Sister wore a smile that seemed more genuine, and a crazy thought flitted through Evelyn’s mind. Did the smile mean Sister was happy to see her? Did Sister care? Had returning the handkerchief been some sort of gesture of apology for all the horrible treatment over the years Evelyn had been here?
“Thank you for the handkerchief,” Evelyn offered, her voice cracking.
Sister did not respond, she merely motioned for Evelyn to finish undressing.
Apprehension, mixed with an odd sense of expectation, came over Evelyn as the chill in the air raised goosebumps on her bare flesh. The emotions warred with each other as she tried to understand what was happening to her body. Sister reached out a hand and brushed her fingers across Evelyn’s chest. Again, her nipples responded to the touch. It was wrong. Evelyn knew that. But it made her feel warm all over.
Sister stepped closer to cup her hand around the tiny breast, and Evelyn wondered if this is what it felt like to be loved. She had never felt the comfort of resting on a mother’s bosom, or feeling this kind of love, if that’s what it was.
Today, Sister’s touch felt different and it opened a well of yearning deep inside Evelyn. She wanted this comfort. This love. So she closed the short distance between them, reaching out to touch Sister the way she was being touched.
“Stop that,” Sister said, slapping Evelyn away with a bruising blow to one shoulder.
Evelyn staggered back, slipping on the water from so many other baths that had puddled on the floor. She fell hard on her buttocks, causing a sharp pain to shoot up her back.
Sister glared at her. “You may never, ever do that again.”
“That is a nasty, sinful thing.”
“Do you understand?”
Evelyn didn’t know if the truth would incite even more anger, so she kept quiet. She didn’t understand. None of it. But she thought if she stayed down on the wet floor, perhaps Sister would not hit her again. She gave a brief nod, even though she wanted to shout, ‘why can you touch me, and it not be a sin?’
Evelyn stood, silent, as Sister started to hum and continued to rub Evelyn’s body. There was no surge of heat anymore. Just a cold wave of anger and revulsion that made Evelyn shudder. Sister did not seem to notice. She hummed and rubbed for a few more minutes, then dropped the rag at Evelyn’s feet and walked out.
That’s all for me today folks. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Be safe. Be happy.