This story is my response to the FIRST PROMPT of Trifecta’s weekly writing challenge. Again, without the title, it’s exactly 333 words…
When Ice Cream Isn’t Really Ice Cream
Eve was the sort of girl who flew under the radar. She had long wheat-colored hair that she wore in a French braid, and her eyes were like water, deep and blue. Although we were friends, and got along well, she was the sort of person you never fully know. She was bright, but also quiet and humble. Her sense of adventure never ceased to surprise me. At the same time, she was stable. I trusted her implicitly.
Her father was deceased, and Eve and her two brothers lived with her Aunt and Uncle. She had four cousins, whom she called brothers and sisters. When I first met her, I thought her family was huge. I didn’t understand that it was actually two families.
I was sixteen when I first started going on vacations with Eve. Her family had a cabin up north, perfect for water skiing, fishing, and ATVs. The drive up was always surprisingly fun, with everyone singing along to Tom Petty and the Eagles. There was always music in that house, and everyone would sing around the campfire at night.
Eve told me about her real mom, and why she couldn’t have custody, but I didn’t really understand. When her mom first came on a trip, I was quite surprised. She seemed so normal, exactly like everyone else, except for one small thing…
She was always talking about ice cream. I’d never seen anyone over the age of six talk about ice cream so much. Yet everyone else seemed oblivious. They would say it wasn’t time, and change the subject. Even Eve’s youngest cousins, who were five and seven, would ignore it; they never chimed in.
Finally, after an entire weekend spent with Eve and her family, I couldn’t help myself. I had to know. “Why does your mom talk so much about ice cream?”
Eve answered. “That’s part of her schizophrenia. She’s always like that.” It was the third conversation we’d had about her mom, but I finally understood.