Eveline – short story

He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.

Frank called to her again, his voice seemed so comforting to hear, but yet she still stood there staring straight at him cold heartedly, with no expression on her porcelain face. It was as though she was there in body and not in mind.

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While she stood there motionless, she tried to imagine what her life would be like if she moved with Frank. Would it be what she had planned in her mind? Getting married, having a family of her own and finally receiving the respect that she longed for and most certainly deserved? She finally had the chance of becoming free of the burdens she has before her in Ireland. But the only thing that troubled her was the lack of communication she would have with her family if she did move away.

On the other hand she had remembered that Frank was the first man that she had ever courted and never really knew him that well. Did she really want to go half way around the world with a man she hardly knew and uncertain that she loved? She also had to consider the possibility that she may have to travel back to Ireland and if she did would she have the money to go back there? There was also a possibility that her life may not change for the better and that it could change for the worst.

The thoughts that were going through her mind were about her father and the two young children that she had cared for all her life. Could she abandon them now? Even though her father threatened her and he wasn’t really kind, he was her father and she loved him. Also, in Ireland she had a house and food. She had friends and family close by, but in the back of her mind she could picture herself in a foreign country with the sun shining and Frank’s bronze face looking at her with a subtle smile.

Since she was warming to the idea of moving away with Frank Eveline remembered the promise that she had made to her mother before she died. The promise she made was that she would keep the family together for as long as she could and provide food and income for the family. As she remembered the promise she felt her icy hands grip the bar even tighter.

While these thoughts were going through her mind she could hear the boat’s cry as it was getting ready to pull away from the port and head to the destination. She was so confused. What was she meant to do? Was she meant to abandon the family she had grown up with all of her life and leave some of the fond memories behind of her father like the picnic and how her father had made her laugh by putting on her mother’s bonnet or was she meant to go with a man she hardly even knows. How she longed for somebody to help her decide what to do, but she knew deep down in her heart that the only person who could make the decision was her.

The cry of the boat sounded again and that was when she made her decision. Her decision was to stay and look after her father and the two children. Even though she had plans of leaving Ireland and making a new life for herself with a man she thought she loved. Eveline was not sure whether this was the right time for her to move. She was unsure whether or not she actually loved frank that much to leave her family and country to start a new life with him.

Even though she felt she had made the right decision she still felt saddened because after all Frank was her first man that she had courted.

When the boat pulled away from the dock Eveline’s eyes started to water she knew she would never see Frank ever again. Eveline was sickened by the thought because she had only just realised she loved him deep down and he had loved her.

While Eveline started to walk back home memories came flooding back of the happy times she had shared with Frank. Tears came running down her face like raindrops on a window and she was thinking to herself will she ever see Frank again to tell him how she actually felt and how much she loved him.

Eveline got to the house, opened the door and stared at the walls and the dusty cretonne around her. This was the life she had longed to leave and now she is home doing the identical chores she has been undertaking for most of her life and without the man she realised she loved.