The Substitute Jack

Published by K.M.Lynch in the blog K.M.Lynch's blog. Views: 112

When she got home the very first thing Evelyn did was get changed. It seemed as though the black skirt and blouse had been contaminated and she doubted that she’d ever wear them again.

Jack’s funeral had been the first one she’d ever been to. The entire time all Evelyn had thought about was if anyone was pointing at her or whispering beyond her back. She had never felt so much as though she were on display.

Now back home and in her room, she perched upon her bed and thought of how cruel life could be. She was in grade eleven and she had had a crush on Jack ever since grade three. He’d been handsome, nice and funny. To Evelyn’s way of thinking, that was everything important.

Two weeks ago, Jack had finally asked her out. Their first date had been perfect. They went to dinner at a small, independent local restaurant known for its good food and modest prices. He’d even picked her up and dropped her off after a quick, but sweet goodnight kiss.

It had been exactly as Evelyn had dreamed a date with Jack should be. Four days ago, they had gone on their second date, this time to see a movie. He’d been a complete gentleman and they both enjoyed the silly romantic comedy that he’d let her pick.

And then the day after that second date, Jack had been killed in a car accident. It truly had been an accident; the roads had been slippery and he took a corner a little too quickly. He hit tree and was pronounced dead at the scene. It was sad, but nothing could be done.

Evelyn lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling. She knew that she’d miss Jack and she felt so sad at the thought of his family trying to cope with the loss of their son. Yet, oddly enough the one emotion that she felt the deepest was anger. She had waited for years to be noticed by Jack. And finally, he had noticed her. They had two perfect dates, free of any awkwardness. And now, just when she had at last got her chance with him, he died.

Just like that, he’d been taken away. There was no reason for it and it was a death completely without drama. It seemed almost as though he had simply left. Evelyn couldn’t accept that he was dead; that she’d never see or hear from Jack ever again.

And that thought made her furious.

Who decided that Jack had to die at age seventeen? No, he would never have been the type of man who would grow up to change the fate of the world. He hadn’t been a man of extreme intellect. He’d been just an average man. That was why Evelyn had liked him so much; Jack had been safe. He had been solid and steady and utterly dependable.

To Evelyn, his death altered her future completely. She had planned on marrying him. They would have stayed in this community; they would have had three maybe four children and their life would have been a simple one. She had invested years in him. She had waited years for him. Then just when everything was turning out exactly as she’d planned… he’d left her.

Well, so be it. Evelyn Trask was no quitter. She got up, changed into her usual jeans and a t-shirt and picked up last year’s yearbook. She knew that she had no time to lose; it had taken seven years to bring Jack up to scratch and who knew how long the next one would take.

She thumbed through the pages until she reached the grade tens. This was a solid start. Evelyn did not want to marry a man who was younger than her, so he’d have to be at least her age or older. She also did not want a man who was smarter than her; she planned to rule the roost uncontested. And that’s when she saw Mark Thaneston.

Mark was a year older than her, but he had been held back a year in low school due to his poor grades. He was sweet and had a boyish look about him. Yes, with a little hard work, Mark could be a decent substitute for Jack.

Evelyn smiled to herself; Evelyn Thaneston… that would work quite nicely.
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