Eve woke up after a few hours of sleep. Once she prepared herself for the day, she went downstairs to join her hosts.
“Hey, we got your note, Eve. Everything all right?” Ron stood to greet her when she entered the kitchen.
She poured herself coffee and joined them at the table. She seemed tired, forlorn. Her spirits were down, she knew she must do something to make her guilt go away. After time passed, she looked up, wondering if she could confide in them. She needed to tell someone and they did seem nice.
Christine was the first to break the silence. “Honey, I don’t have kids, but I know what a toll a pregnancy can be on your body. Ron and I have discussed your living here and we both agree that it would be a good idea for you to stay with us. You shouldn’t be alone during a time like this. Think of it as living with family.”
Her warm message, her smile was too much for Eve to handle. She put her head down and began to weep uncontrollably.
Christine reached out to her, offering comfort, “Hey, everything is going to be fine, I promise.”
“No, I’m sorry, but you don’t understand. There’s something terrible I’ve done and I can’t keep it inside anymore.” She looked up at her new quasi family, and then, uttered the next word. “Conchita.”
Ron and Christine stared, wondering if Eve’s hormones were talking. Why would she be suffering so much over a woman she didn’t even know?
Eve continued. “I lied to you. My real name is Eve Hart, my husband is Jonathan Hart.”
Ron put his hand on his chin, a thinking habit he’d acquired many years ago. Soon, he recollected the name, “I’ve seen him on TV, he’s some kind of hot shot rich guy, isn’t he?”
Eve looked at him, the tears in her eyes turned to anger, hatred. “He’s a snake, a hateful man. And his business partner,” she choked on her words. “And, his partner raped me, I’m pregnant because he attacked me. That horrid man raped me!”
Christine gasped. “Then why didn’t you go through with the procedure, Eve? Why on earth are you putting yourself through this?”
She looked at her stomach and a new tear fell from her eye. “The baby is innocent, Christine. I just couldn’t go through with it.”
Ron slapped his hand on his thigh. “Well then. It’s settled. You are staying with us. You’ll stay as long as want.” He looked at his wife for confirmation.
“Of course you will. This is a loving home, evidently something you really need, honey.”
Eve wanted to leave it at that, but she knew the guilt would ruin everything. She had to let them know, someone had to know the truth. “Last night, I stopped for gas and bought a newspaper. The headline was about Conchita. She was my friend, and my best friend’s cleaning lady.” She peered at the couple with guilt, but continued. “The article had a false story. It said that Sandy, my friend, drove her to the bus and that the bus is now missing. That isn’t how it happened.” She went on to tell them the story of the shooting in front of her house and how the men had hauled the body away in a van, that the police had been involved. "Jonathan was the ring leader. I saw it and heard everything. It made me ill, so I grabbed my purse and took off. I haven’t been back since. I’ll never be able to go back.”
The silence in the room was staggering. Eve didn’t know if she would be told to leave or not? Ron was in his thinking position, Christine now sitting with a look of horror on her face.
Eve finally stood, and looking at them, said, “I have a few things in the bedroom, I’ll be gone in 10 minutes.”
Ron reached for her forearm when she was near enough and pulled her toward him. “You’re not going anywhere. You’re going to stay right here and the three of us are going to fight this together. You ladies need to give me a little time to think. But not a word of this to anyone, you hear?”
He left the women alone, but returned shortly. “Eve. What is this Sandy like? Would she have lied?”
“No, not Sandy. I’m sure that she’s miserable now, but doesn’t know what to do.”
“Contact her. See if she’ll meet you today, and while you’re at it, get whatever money you can from your bank. You’ll need some money and that bastard won’t be thinking generous thoughts. Say, does he know what his partner did to you?”
“Of course not, but if he did, he’d blame me. He’d have to throw me out on the street to preserve his reputation.”
“Ok. Now, let’s make a list of what you need to do today. Eve, you’ll need to tell the Latino police. Conchita’s family deserves to know the truth.”
Christine had been listening to the conversation, but was suddenly worried. “Ron, the truth will stir things up between our town and the Whites’. It might mean we have to leave here.”
“Honey,” he knelt next to her and stroked her hair. “We all have to do the right thing.”
Eve suddenly realized the magnitude of what was happening. “My God. If I go through with this and tell them what I know, then you may be in danger. How can that be good?”
Ron seemed sad when he replied, “We left White Town because of the leaders’ hateful ideas. Now? I realize we can’t get away from it.” He looked down, his final words spoken with a faint quality. “Together, we will be strong. You will tell the authorities what really happened, and we will protect each other.”
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