Melissa Marr

Made for You

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    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    enough that they won’t ask a lot of questions,” he or she says.
    I feel like the world is spinning. I try to turn my head as the bottle comes back, but the person holds my chin again. This time when the Mad Dog gags me and the vomit comes at the same time, there is no break. Tears fill my already blurry eyes as I try to shake my head to get away, but it doesn’t work
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    person opens a bottle of what looks like Mad Dog 20/20, grabs my chin with a gloved hand, and tilts my head back. The alcohol pours into my mouth faster than I can swallow, and it spills down my shirt.
    He takes my hand and wraps it around the bottle, and my muscles are too weak to put up much of a fight. I try, but it’s about as effective as a toddler resisting a parent. My phone hits the asphalt beside me hard enough that the screen cracks. The stranger had my missing phone.
    I try to turn my head so I can throw up on the ground instead of on myself, and the person helps me this time, turning my head so I can try to get whatever I ate out of my body. As soon as I’m done though, he puts the bottle back in my mouth. He gives me a break when I start gagging, but as soon as I’ve caught my breath, the bottle is back.
    I need to get away. I need to get home. Then it hits me: I’m not going to be able to walk anywhere. I blink blearily at the silhouette crouched in front of me.
    Then he helps me to the ground and puts the bottle to my lips.
    “Your blood alcohol should be hig
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    of people who drive along Old Salem Road. Aside from a few houses and the reservoir, there’s nothing out this far. Mom always says that’s the only reason she’s willing to live at “the godforsaken end of the devil’s elbow.”
    The lights make the person getting out of the car look like a silhouette. He’s not a huge man. I can tell that. He could be a bigger woman. . . . I open my mouth to speak, but instead puke all over the seat of my truck. Something’s wrong. Something more than the flu.
    “Sick,” I force out of lips that feel oddly numb.
    The person from the car is beside me, but he—or she—isn’t speaking. I can see jeans and tennis shoes, but when I look up, I can’t see a face. It’s there; it has to be, but I can’t tell anything about it.
    “You should’ve stayed away.” The voice sounds almost familiar, but the person is whispering.
    I’m shivering so hard that my face hurts from clenching my jaw.
    My legs are shaking too, and I hit the ground. I’m sitting in a puddle of vomit. The person opens a bottle of what looks like Mad
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    For a moment, I remember again that I’m not Nate. I’m Eva. Then the voice saying my name is swept away by a sharp pain in my stomach. Nate’s stomach. I think about how I’m Nate and not-Nate. My stomach—Eva’s stomach—shouldn’t hurt, but I’m swept further into Nate, and it’s all I can do to try to remember I’m not really him.
    The stomach cramps become bad enough that I stumble and clutch the door frame of my truck. The pain is unexpected.
    I pat my jeans pockets as if I would’ve missed my phone if it were there. It’s not there. I can’t call for help if my phone is gone.
    My mouth feels like it’s filled with something hot and sour. I’m not throwing up. Yet. My heart feels too fast.
    Someone pulls up in front of me, their headlights shining in my face so I can’t see who’s in the car. I’m not sure if it’s a helpful stranger or someone I know. There aren’t a lot
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    masks at the house. I’m fairly certain I have gloves. Even if I feel better tomorrow, I’ll wear gloves and masks. Cystic fibrosis is hard enough for him to handle without adding colds or a flu
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    I pull over, my tires crunching on the gravel. I wasn’t drinking at all, but my vision is off. Something is wrong with me, and I’m afraid I won’t make it to the house. I guess it’s the flu or something, but I’ve never had the flu hit so suddenly.
    My mother will be irritated when I wake her, but she’d be worse if I wrecked the truck.
    I shiver as I get out of the truck.
    With the help of the dashboard lights, I search the cab of my truck again, hoping that my phone fell out of my pocket and under the seat. The truck is clean enough that I know it’s not there, but I don’t see how it could be anywhere else. I had it earlier at the restaurant. I called Nora to talk to her and Aaron, but my brother was asleep, so I had Nora tell him I couldn’t make it until morning.
    I feel out of it, tired enough that I worry that I’m coming down with something. I need to shake it off. I can’t carry germs to him. That’s the last thing he needs.
    I wonder if I have any more of those germ masks at the house. I’m fairly certain I have
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    Cautiously, I say, “I’ve been in for a couple days. Someone hit me with a car.”
    “That sucks.”
    I start laughing. It’s not funny, not really, but it’s such an understatement after everything I’ve been feeling that it seems hilarious to me. He stares at me like maybe I’m a little unbalanced, which only makes me laugh more. It takes a minute to get my laughter under control. By then, tears fill my eyes.
    I sniff and wipe the tears with the back of my hand, but in doing so, I bump one of the cuts on my cheek and gasp with pain.
    “Shit,” Nate mutters, and he’s at my side holding out the box of tissues from the coffee table. “I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
    “It still happens when I laugh—just like when we were kids.” My voice is shaky, more from pain than tears. I’m not completely lying: I do cry when I laugh.
    “I’m sorry,” he says, his hand coming down on mine—and I’m . . . gone. I’m unable to speak. I feel the world around me vanish before I can ask whether he means that he’s sorry
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    I wonder if she’ll notice my name on the card. I listed several names—the editor, a few staff writers, and then I added my own in the middle. Judge. It’s not the name I was born with but it’s my true name, my soul name. I’m not really an executioner yet, and without Eva, I’m not a jury. Together, we could be a judge, jury, and executioner
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    I glance inside Eva’s room as I pass it. It’s only a moment, a split second, but she’s there. She’s awake and speaking softly. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear she was an angel. She’s not though. She’s one of Them. If I can’t save her, she’ll have to die. She’s been spared for now, but I need her to understand. If she doesn’t, she’ll be a sacrifice at the altar of venality
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    she was alive, I knew it was a sign. God doesn’t want her to die yet. I understand that now. I was hasty. I have spent the past three days thinking about the right path, praying for clarity and considering my options. He’s giving me another chance, giving her another chance. Maybe I can make her see, and she can be redeemed. If I save her, she can live, and she’ll be so grateful for all that I’ve done to save her
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    Inside the elevator, I look at the flowers. We talked about the language of flowers in one of our lit classes because of Hamlet, so I know that Eva will figure it out. The flowers I picked are yellow roses (for apology and a broken heart), white roses (for silence and purity), red
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    heart), white roses (for silence and purity), red carnations (for passion), and white daisies (for innocence). The daisies were in Hamlet too, so I know she’ll see them as a clue. She’ll figure it out
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    sacrifice the one I love above all others. Like Abraham, I lowered the knife—or car, in my case—but God spared my beloved one. Now, I am waiting, hoping, praying for a reward for my faithfulness.
    I’m praying that her acceptance will be my reward
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    I know the staff writer has to suck up to the Cooper-Tilling family. No matter what They do, they’re always thought innocent. The paper is only one of the many things They control. I didn’t realize it a few years ago, but I see it now: Jessup is owned by Them, the ones who support the crazy rules that govern every interaction in Jessup. I’m not ruled by Them, not now, not ever again. Eva wasn’t either, but that changed. She became corrupt. I have seen it, dirt on her flesh where the corruption has begun to take root. She was the shining light, the proof that not everyone believed Their lies. Then she fell. She became just as guilty as the rest of Them, so I had to act before the corruption consumed her. It’s like a disease, eating away at all that’s good and pure.
    I ran over her to save her.
    I was willing to let her die in order to save her
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    All that really matters suddenly is that I’m falling.
    I know I’m already on my back but somehow I still fall.
    I fall into someone. I know it’s not my skin I’m wearing even though it somehow is mine for the moment. The woman I am inside is waiting for her grandson, Ethan. He should have been here by now. My chest hurts. I have—no, she has—had this twinge all day, and even though it’s probably nothing, it scares me.
    Somewhere in my mind, I remind myself that this is not me, that I am Eva Elizabeth Tilling
    Carina Rita Hansenje citiraoпре 3 године
    s, and I slam the gas pedal down before I can hesitate. I feel the thump, and through my tears, I see her hit the hood of the car and slide off.
    I don’t slow down. I can’t. I can’t even look in the rearview mirror. I did it, but it hurt. God, it hurt to sacrifice the one person I thought was meant to be mine. My Eva is bleeding along the side of the road. This was the only choice left to me.
    I had to kill her
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