After the birthday party, an atmosphere of cheerful joy lingered around the Rossini household. They finally had their share of much-needed fun and lightheartedness.
It didn’t last long, though.
It turned out, Eira’s symptoms from last night didn’t go away. She woke up with a terrible fever and felt dizzy and nauseous all day.
“You have to see the doctor,” Melia insisted and Camilla almost yelled at her mom for being so stubborn. But Eira was having none of it. She smiled and said it was just a flu.
Later that afternoon, right after she woke up from a long nap, Eira got up from her bed and walked out of her house. She just stood there for a while, on the pavement in front of the lot, possibly near the spot she stood on the first time she arrived here all those years ago.
Back then, she had nothing but a piece of land and a cheap secondhand cell phone. But things change, right?
Eira looked over her shoulder. Her once empty lot was full of things.
It wasn’t the prettiest house out there, of course. Neither it was big or luxurious. But those were the last things Eira worried about.
Because when she looked at that house, she saw nothing but love. She smelled Melia’s cooking. She heard Devi’s guitar and Damon’s jokes. She remembered Camilla’s chatter and Castor’s wild clicking on a computer mouse, Evander’s paintings and Eudora’s toys hidden under her bed.
The memories filled her heart with pride and happiness. So many wonderful things she achieved. And so much love she witnessed.
All of the sudden she thought of her first date with Adrian…
With him on her mind, she turned around and looked forward, with her lips forming a resigned smile.
She felt how strenght and energy slowly abandoned her old body and she gracefully lay down on the ground.
She looked elegant and almost regal in her calmness, in her willingness to go. Her face was peaceful and there was still a soft smile on her lips when a dark figure reaped her soul.
And with that simple sentence, Eira Rossini drew her last breath.
The rest of the family was not as ready for Eira’s death as she was. Melia cried for hours. She felt alone and isolated. Not only she lost her mother, but also her dearest friends and the most caring advisor. She had no one to lean on.
But no one seemed to suffer as much as young Evander. He’s always been momma’s darling boy.
To make the matters worse, his birthday was approaching. Melia tried her best to make him feel loved and happy. She baked his favourite chocolate cake with hazelnut cream and invited his brothers. But nobody was in a mood to celebrate. The party just reminded them of how incomplete the family seemed withou Eira and Adrian around.
They all tried for Evander, but it didn’t help. Adult Evander was just as sensitive as his teenage self and he sensed their sadness like it was his own.
Melia was really worried about him. He never really needed a lot of company, but now he stopped talking completely. He also didn’t fish anymore and his easel stood forgotten in the garden. And so she decided to talk to him.
She found him on his usual spot on the bench next to parents’ graves.
Evander listened to her words carefully and slowly nodded when she finished. He realized that grief prevented him from thinking clearly.
“That is true, Mel, but still…”
Evander looked at her thoughfully, his eyes still full of tears. Then he just stood up and walked away, but he seemed more absent-minded than distressed and Melia calmed down.
‘He’ll be fine,’ she said to herself with relief, ‘he just needs some time.’
She had no idea what kind of process she started in Evander’s head. But she found out a couple of days later, when Evander decided to share his plans with Camilla.
“Go ahead!” Millie encouraged him enthusiastically. She had a soft spot in her heart for her vulnerable, gentle baby brother.
Camilla blinked and stared at him a couple of minutes.
They smiled at each other and it was Evander’s first smile since Eira’s death.
A few days later, the phone calls were made and the bags were packed. Evander said his goodbyes to his sisters and headed towards his future.
Dory sat still on her bed and stared at Evander’s corner of the room.
She sighed and got up. It was hard. She didn’t want to go to school and follow her daily routine like nothing happened. She just wanted to hid under the blankets and cry infinitely.