Brainwashed

Evelyn Rose Williams had always been an independent woman, a rare and uninviting thing in the 1930's. It wasn't until a man saved her life and showed her a side of herself she didn't know she had, did she realize how much help she was going to need in the world she was now dropped in. Death, chaos, love, pain and torture, a mixture so deadly no one can survive....no one but them. Evelyn will do everything thing she can to take him back, even if that means falling down the same rabbit hole.

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7. Sunset on Brooklyn

Chapter 6 ~ Sunsets on Brooklyn

April 1, 1937

    It had been year since the loss of Steve’s mother, an avid person in his life. Bucky had taken him under his wing, allowing him to live with him instead of being alone. Caitlyn had moved out and into a girls home, by her own choice. Evelyn and Bucky’s relationship, blossomed into something Steve could cope with. He had his best friend and Bucky had his girl. They were peas in a pod, triplets of trouble, and unstoppable force of teenagers. They were seniors now and waiting to graduate and make it in the new world.

Evelyn tended to her father, his condition had gotten worse. He was in bed most of the time and Evelyn had picked up a job at the local bookstore, shelving and organizing the books in a back room. She would stay up often helping her father get to the bathroom and make sure he was breathing well. Steve had offered to help her, seeing as the same illness had taken his only family left, but Evelyn refused. She was still her stubborn self, craving to be independent. She knew she wouldn’t be able to handle the loss of her last part of her family. Bucky was afraid of how she might take it, keeping a close eye on her was the best way he could protect her. The three of them faced the world already, with the deaths they witnessed, but they were soon in for a rude awakening.

                    ~

It was the middle of art class when the announcement reached the three of them. Evelyn was sitting in her history class and the boys were in their art class, painting vases. The news had reached them at such a rapid pace, knocking them over, they had no time to react. The U.S was going to war with Germany. It was the news they thought they would never hear. Everyone was so struck by the news that they let the school out early. Male seniors began to get rowdy,they were going to be signed up, it was a sure thing. Bucky was ready, he felt he was since he knew how to knock a man clear off his feet. His father had been in the army, an officer before dying of ( need to find out.). Bucky grew up knowing what the wars could do to a man, it was no laughing matter. Steve was gung ho about the war, he wanted to serve his purpose and be something honorable. Evelyn was scared out of her mind, she knew what this meant, Bucky would have to leave.

“Did you hear the news?” Bucky asked Evelyn as he wrapped his arm around her, exiting the school building. Evelyn bit her lip as she heard the excitement and fear in his voice. She had a feeling he was ready to go, he would be eligible to be taken in and there was no way to turn it down or go back once you were in.

“Yeah I did, I can’t believe this is happening. Do you think they are going to draft men in?” Evelyn’s fear was evident, she wore it on her face. Her green eyes were searching the side of Bucky’s face, trying to find a mere expression that he wasn’t going to leave her. He was determined and she knew he was, there was nothing she could do but tighten her grip around him and pray that he wouldn’t let go.

“It’s hard to tell at this point, this is the beginning and it can either get better or worse from here.” Bucky sighed as he ran his hand through his gelled back hair. It was a confusing thing for him to think about. There were two options for him, go or stay and then be forced to go. He felt it was his duty to go, follow in the step of his father and prove himself. There was a pit growing in the bottom of his stomach, fear. He looked down at Evelyn, seeing her nipping at her lip with her perfect teeth. He loved her, yet he hadn’t told her. Another fear he had yet to face directly. It was the only strong feeling he could pick out of the daily mess of emotions he brewed up. It was her, only her that he saw in his sights and the thought of leaving her was causing the pit in his stomach to grow.

Evelyn was loyal to him, talking to him and spending time with him everyday. They would walk home together and kiss each other goodbye but the three sacred words never left their lips. It was on the tip of his tongue and each time he looked at her he thought about speaking those sinfully truthful words to her. He truly did love her and the year and a half that they had been together had proved it.

The way she looked at him when he said something stupid or mushy about her, melted him into a puddle of nothing a man should be. He wanted to protect her with everything in him. The way her eyes reflected the wildness of her heart, and the love she shared for him. It was a magnetic pull something the both of them could feel in their hearts and stomach. He had caught her and the race was over, he didn’t have to keep running after her. Or so he thought.

“We should do something tonight, celebrate the last carefree day of our life before the real stuff starts happening,” Bucky suggested as he looked to both Evelyn and Steve. He wanted to stop himself from thinking about leaving Evelyn, he had to go and it was the hardest decision he had to make.

“What exactly do have in mind?” Steve asked cautiously. He saw the devilish look in his best friend’s eyes and he knew what was coming. Something that no normal teenager should or would be doing. Bucky replied with a simple smirk as he took off with Evelyn’s hand in his. Steve, being an asthmatic, stalked way farther behind them. Hands in his packets and his forever long worried expression on his face.

                    ~

There were still some speakeasies hidden in buildings, even after the repeal of the prohibition. Some people didn’t want to take that chance. Bucky had taken them to one tucked in the back of an alley, insisting that they would be okay to enter. Steve wasn’t up to the idea of drinking this late at night or even drinking at all. His stomach was the weakest of organs in his body, he could barely hold anything down including his liquor. Evelyn never touched a drink in her life. It wasn’t because she wasn’t allowed to, her father was an everyday drink for his pain, but because she never tempted herself to pick one up.

“This is your idea of fun?” Evelyn chuckled as they entered the building’s secret room. It was dark with only a few dirty light fixtures in the corners, lighting their way to the barrels that were used as tables. There were some wobbling oak table and mix-matched chairs in the center of the room. The only thing that looked like it belonged was the bar table and stood in the back center of the room. The smell of malted liquor and beer filled the air. It was obviously out of style but it was a place for teens to drink. A record player sat in the corner, playing some upbeat music.

“What can I get you kids?” the bartender asked as he threw a towel over his shoulder, leaning against the bar table. Bucky smirked and dragged Steve by his upper arm over to the man. He ordered them two beers and sat them at a table.

“I’ll have a glass of whiskey, please,” Evelyn spoke hesitantly. The man looked at her through the side of his eye before turning slowly and pouring her a glass. Taking the glass, she walked over to the boys and began drinking. It went down smooth and she could feel the warmness of the drink right at the base of her throat. It stung for a moment before warming up her center. She watched as Bucky forced Steve to chug the beer, laughing at his disgusted expression. Steve gagged at only halfway of his drink.

The drinks kept flowing as more and more people filled the bar. Evelyn stuck to her whiskey as the boys tried more varieties of the liquor. Steve was wobbling around even before his fifth glass, Bucky started at his seventh. All of their eyes were getting blurry, their cheeks flushing as the more drunk they became. Laughter became the music they danced to as their sides began to burn. They had joined in with the other patrons, singing off key as they celebrate their country’s entry into the war.

“I think we should go,” Evelyn said between hiccups and bursts of laughter. Bucky looked over at Evelyn, flushed in the cheeks with a goofy grin on his face. He tried to get out of his chair but stumbled, falling to his knees. Steve burst out in a fit of uncontrollable laughter, nearly vomiting up his drink. Evelyn was growing worrisome, even through her thick layer of drunk. She too, was wobbling in her heels but with each passing drink she could feel herself turning into someone else.

The three of them exited the secret pub, hearing the sad moans and groans of the other men and women, wishing them to stay. They staggered and stumbled down the sidewalk, linking arms to share the unsteady weight of each other. Their uneven laughter rang throughout the streets. They had no idea what time it was and the thought of going home wasn’t even a thought to them at all. The still air made evelyn feel even more numb than she did already. Her brain, like a pot of stew, was brewing slowly and was nothing but a thick slush of ingredients. She held on tightly to her beau’s arm, helping him and herself maintain a steady balance.

“This is the most fun I’ve had in years. Almost as fun as that trip to coney island,” Bucky hiccuped as he shook Steve. He chuckled in reply as he tried to hold his stomach before spewing it out. Steve was a cheap drunk and he was way past his limit. Evelyn could see the green rushing to his cheeks.

“Let’s go somewhere else, I don’t think that any of us are sober enough to go home, and by the looks of it, Steve might need a bucket here in a few moments.” Evelyn let a small burp exit her lips as she,too, had to hold her stomach. They all groaned in agreement before stumbling to a nearby patch of greenery. It was a large plot of land that was going to be used for the next lot of apartments. There wasn’t enough room for the people in brooklyn and even with the new lots coming in, people were still going to be homeless or forced to share an apartment.

Evelyn stopped and looked up at the sky, seeing the wispy grey clouds against the oil slick sky. The moon, a white disk, stood front and center, acting as a spotlight for the group. There was silence for a moment between the three teens. The brisk air nipped at their cheeks. Evelyn breathed in the crisp air, allowing it to slightly sober her.

Bucky stares at his girlfriend with longing and dopey eyes. In her own world, Bucky’s heart felt whole and was throbbing in his chest. He didn’t know if it was the booze or his own urges, he wanted to dance. Bucky has regained his composure and calmly walked over to his love.

Suddenly Evelyn could feel the warm grasp of Bucky’s hand on her shoulder. It trailed to the front of her, sliding down to her hand before interlocking. She looked at Bucky with furrowed brows as he pulled her close to him. All Bucky replied with was a small smile as his face sank into Evelyn’s hair.

“I want to dance with you,” Bucky spoke softly into Evelyn’s ear. She shuttered at his word but giggled as he brought up their interlocked hands to each other sides. His other hand was placed firmly on her waist, even in his sobering movements he was direct with what he wanted. They began to sway in rhythm, Bucky taking lead.

As they dance in the milky cold moonlight, Steve sat back and watching in sleepy jealousy. His eyelids droopy and heavy like the weight of the world rested on them. And in a way they did. The thought of the last day or fun and war comings the the front, he didn’t have an idea of how much longer he could be a boy before becoming a man. Steve slouched backward before easing into the dewy grass. He folded his hands underneath his head and listened to the sound of his friends last dance of freedom, before snoring away in the bitter spring night.

“I’m dizzy,” Evelyn spoke softly into Bucky’s chest. She was indeed dizzy but it wasn’t the reason she wanted to stop. The booze and the thought of Bucky leaving made her head spin. Thinking this was going to be the last time she could hold him made her want to vomit. She mentally and couldn’t let go of him. Bucky stopped swaying and held onto her. He could feel her shivering under his touch.

“You need sleep,” Bucky insisted as he swept Evelyn off her feet. She yelped, wrapping her arms around his neck as he sat her down in the wet grass. It was cold but rewarding to her skin, calming her as an uncontrollable sleepiness swept over her. She yawned and planted a kiss on the cheek of her lover.

The sleep had came in like a wave and crashed over her. The moment she had closed her eyes she was in a deep slumber. Leaving Bucky to stare over her, like a clueless and curious child. He felt an uncontrollable urge to protect her, that she was so fragile and in a way she was. Not being a woman but being as strong as she was, that made her so fragile. Taking care of her father alone and losing a mother made her strong. Protecting herself from people like the guy at the dance made her vulnerable just as much as it made her strong.

“I love you,” Bucky spoke it with ease, as if he had been saying it the whole time. He kissed her forehead before rubbing her cheek with his rough thumb. Bucky took of his jacket and tossed it over Steve’s stick thin body before return to Evelyn. He wrapped his arms around her and shared his warm with her as he, too, was engulfed in slumber.

                                       ~

    They sat in the field as the early morning crept upon them. Evelyn let the wind flow through her free wavy locks, it had come loose during her sleep. Bucky looked at her with foggy eyes, admiring her eyes wandering up at the pale sky. Steve, with Bucky’s jacket draped over his cold and bony shoulders, was now waking up in a groaning daze. He looked around him and rubbed his eyes.

    “Would you take a look at that,” Bucky pointed out. Evelyn followed his gaze to a row of tin cans on a fence post. Coffee, cinnamon and sugar, tea and processed potato chips all sat in a line along with two slingshots. Bucky had made it to his feet and took one of the slingshots off the post.

“You think some little kids were out here?” Evelyn chuckled as she met with him, peeking around his shoulder. She watched as he pulled back on the slingshot and let go. Bucky grinned as he was taken back to a time where he was much younger, playing war with the neighborhood kids.

    “It’s quite possible, but I think we can use it for practice.” Bucky beamed. Steve turned to face the couple, looking at the cans and then back at them. He sighed and stood on his feet, he was still groggy from the night before, his head pounding lightly.

    “I’ll give you a dollar if you can knock all of those cans off the post on your first try,” Steve challenged, something Bucky was used to. Steve lived to challenge Bucky and make him feel smaller than he really was, to build him back up. Bucky was the same but only because he saw the potential in Steve.

    “Get ready to pay me up,”Bucky laughed as he picked up a handful of pebbles and placing them in his pocket. One by one he pulled out a pebble and shot it at one of the four cans. They were knocked down, landing and making a cloud in the dirt. Bucky let out a loud laugh before turning to Steve and reaching out his hand.

Evelyn was impressed by the marksmanship, she wanted to try for herself. Placing the cans back up on the post and picking up some pebbles, she aimed at the cans. She pulled back on the slingshot and fired the rocks at the cans. They each fell down and landed in the dirt. Bucky and Steve both looked at Evelyn with an astonished look on her face. Evelyn was surprised herself, being that she had never shot something before, even something as simple as a slingshot.

“ I think you owe her a dollar too.”

“No I don’t, I barely have the money to pay you up,” Steve grumbled. He wasn’t that good of a marksman, his poor eyesight didn’t allow for it. His asthma and his frequent ability to get terrible sick prevented him from a lot of things. Running, boxing or any physical activity was cut extremely short but it didn’t stop him from trying.

After discussing the bet and its unimportance. The group decided to walk back to their homes. They were unaware of the time but to Evelyn’s guess, it was more than likely a few hours after dawn. She needed to be home with her father and to take care of him. Evelyn knew that her father wouldn’t be happy that she was out as late as she was or that she was drinking but she didn’t care. It was the last time she knew that she would be able to do it, let alone do it with Bucky. Her heart was aching at the thought of being alone in Brooklyn without Bucky by her side. She had gotten so used to his body being next to hers. His smell in her nose and the warmth of his body and lips against her, gone for months or years. The thought of him dying on the battlefield, alone and bleeding, surged through her mind. She stopped in her tracks, her breathing heavy as she tried to erase the thought from her mind.

“Eve? Are you okay?” Steve noticed that she had stopped in the of the sidewalk. Bucky turned and looked at her, seeing the tears pooling in her eyes. Her eyes were glazing over as she fought the urge to break down and cry over the loss of Bucky. She noticed that they could see her. Evelyn immediately wiped her cheeks and smirked.

“I’m going to walk the rest of the way to my house by myself. You guys have your time to yourselves,” Evelyn walked up and pecked Bucky’s cheek, turning to leave. Bucky, eyes wide and filled with concern, grabbed a hold of Evelyn’s arm and pulled her to him.

“Eve-” Bucky was cut off.

“Just,” Evelyn’s voice raised before she caught herself, turning into a whisper, “ Have fun, okay?”

 
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