Chapter 19

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The next morning hadn't even seen it's sunrise before Evelyn had awoken from a restless sleep to shoot Brandon a text asking if he was still planning on coming. Of course she would regret that move a few hours later, thinking it made her appear a bit too insecure, but in the early hours of a pre-dawn morning even the smallest concern has a way of taking on an almost surreal intensity. As the sun slowly lit the sky Evelyn stared at her phone, willing a response as the stresses of the previous week and nervousness of what would happen with Puck all translated themselves into the anticipation of Brandon's response.

The minutes ticked by agonizingly slow, each lethargic moment weighing her mind down with worries that she knew had no substance, yet oozed into the forefront of her consciousness nonetheless. Did Derek and his friends succeed in scaring him off? Would Brandon decide she wasn't worth the trouble and move on to another girl with less enemies, leaving her alone to face not only her own internal battles but the added stress of refocused social attacks? Maybe he wouldn't want to face her parents again. Maybe the embarrassment of being caught climbing out her window was too much to try to make up for, and therefore not worth the effort?

Or worse yet, what if he did come and things went bad? What if her parents decided they didn't trust him after all? What if they thought that Brandon knowing about her powers was simply too dangerous, and they forbade him from ever coming around again? What if they claimed he had broken into the house and had him arrested...

OK, now she was just getting ridiculous and she knew it. At least her phone mercifully vibrated at that moment, cutting off her increasingly irrational train of worries. Evelyn snatched it off her bedside table and sighed with relief at Brandon's simple 'I'll be there'. She looked at the clock, it was only 5am. The sky had only just began to lighten outside her window as the first notes of birdsong welcomed the beginning of a new day and marked the end of her baseless anxieties. Some of them at least.

Evelyn fell back onto her bed in a tired heap, allowing a groan to escape her lips. It was going to be a long day with not much more to do than get ready for Brandon's arrival and watch the hours slowly pass by. She tried to roll over and get a few more hours sleep, but her still spinning mind and bright sunshine coming through her window refused to give her any more rest. Groggily, Evelyn kicked the covers onto the floor and sat up and took a deep breath. May as well get the day started.

She looked around the room, it wasn't too bad but it could use a bit of cleaning. At least it would waste a little bit of time, plus Evelyn was sure the rest of the house could use some touching up. The way she saw it, any distraction today would be a welcome one, and a bit of sucking up certainly wouldn't hurt either.

And so the rest of the morning was spent cleaning every nook and cranny of the house. Dusting, windows, laundry, she even went so far as to get on her hands and knees and scrub the kitchen floor. Neither of her parents said a word about her efforts, but Evelyn could feel their amusement and caught them smiling at each other out of the corner of her eye. "Lawn could use a good mow too." Lenny said from behind his newspaper as Evelyn scrubbed a particularly stubborn stain off the floor next to him.

"Oh hush up and let the girl work," Becca said with a chuckle, hitting Lenny playfully on the shoulder as she passed. "She's just worried about tonight."

"More about distracting myself so I don't go crazy."

"Well I hear lawn mowing's a great distraction." Lenny said, the amusement in his voice as evident as the feelings he was emanating.

And so Evelyn mowed the lawn. Eventually. She had never run the mower before so all the cords and knobs were as unfamiliar to her as the inner workings of the motor itself. It took ten minutes to figure out not only where to put the gas, but also how to work the frustrating safety nozzle on the gas container itself. By the time she had filled the machine Evelyn had managed to spill about half a gallon of gas onto both herself and the garage floor. Then she spent the next several minutes coughing at the fumes and cussing under her breath as she tugged on the cord trying to yank the cursed thing to life.

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