Dad smiled. “Dearest Eve, you can draw of us at the same time, both mom and I. It would be best if we could be hugging you in the picture. That way, everyone in our family can be together, for we are one happy family.”
I began nodding ecstatically and started drawing, sticking my tongue out in concentration. Suddenly, Crystal stood timidly in front of me, telling me she wanted to draw too. I told her we could share the markers. To my surprise, she sprawled onto the ground and started crying. As she threw a tantrum, she shrieked, “I want to draw. Don't hate me. I'll be good!”
Aunt Natalie marched forward to carry Crystal and started sobbing as well. I sat there, dumbstruck. I had no idea why my cousin had cried. Just then, Dad walked over and reprimanded me, saying I should take care of Crystal since she was younger. Mom, on the other hand, did not say anything. She pulled me into her embrace and started comforting me, telling me softly that it would be best to avoid conflict with Crystal.
Feeling as though I had been wronged, I quickly clarified that I did not bully Crystal. It was her who had started crying out of nowhere. To my dismay, not only did my father not believe me, but he even threatened to hit me. After that, the first set of markers I ever owned was given to Crystal. Disappointment filled my heart, but my mother bought me another set soon enough. Even so, something felt different, as if something was missing.
Before long, Scarlett appeared in front of our house, carrying Yvette. Mom cried the entire night. I remembered snuggling up to her and calling out to her, telling her she still had me, and asking her to stop crying. But my mother did not stop, and my tears started to fall as well.
I must have fallen asleep after crying so much. When I awoke the next day, Mom was gone. I cried out for her, earning a slap from my father. I was only six when that happened. The slap made me lose my balance, and I fell to the floor in pain.