Leaving Eden / by Stillwater Magazine

by Alexa Salvato


It seems likely that they were an experiment. No Adams, just Eves, given a station wagon
teeming with rust, not a tree abundant with apples. Still, everything was forbidden. 
The mechanic said the car only has a fifteen-­mile endurance. n’t try to take it to some
boyfriend’s house out east, he had winked grossly as Eve One shuddered. t’s just enough to take you to school and work and home. That’s it. You hear me?
It was trying to keep her in Suburbia-­Eden where K­-Marts grew much faster than aloe vera or
She sped down the hill behind the school­­ no brakes­­ with Eves Two and Three after their
French test, shrieking girls blasting shrieking girls out of the stereo player. Eve Three lived on
that street and her mom told her that Mrs. O’Malley had been complaining about the ruckus
from the new teen drivers. ow who could they be? she asked. Eve swallowed the uck you
down her throat but her eyes gave her away and she lost her cell phone for four nights. 
What were three Eves to do with boundless mindheartsbodies but bruised wrists bound behind them? 
Eve Two thought if she was small enough maybe she could float away. She read constantly, 
wondered if anyone had ever survived on words alone. She traced her own hipbones in the
moonlight in prayer, while Lucy G. quietly traced Eve One’s next door. 
Eve Three ran. She ran on teams and wasn’t the fastest but she quit because she missed her
girlfriends too much. When she ran through the forest, the other girls swinging hands and
gossiping behind her, she ran four times faster than on any school track where Coach Miller
was always checking out each sprinter’s ass. 
Eve One toiled babysitting at the richest house on the block­­ the fabled Marsden family. The
kids were terrors, pulling her hair, making fun of her acne, staying up way past their bedtimes, 
she knew, just so she wouldn’t be able to start her homework till 11. But thanks to this, Eve One
had the car. 
The ‘96 Subaru Outback had seen better days, but it was their home. They crowded the trunk
with blankets and books, filled the backseat with Pop­Tarts and Pepsi and Granny Smith apples. 
They could go on forever. 
It was a Tuesday in March, 7:17 a.m., frost melting and windshield defrosting. One had
neglected to wing her eyeliner, and she knew she was about to cry but she didn’t know why. 
Eve Two was eyeing the brown sugar Pop­Tarts with a cramp in her stomach, and Three’s left
leg couldn’t stop shaking. 
“What’s fifteen miles from here?” One asked. 
“Dryden,” Two answered, rolling her eyes. 
“There’s really no reason we need to stop there,” Three said quietly. 
It is important to skip school when you’re seventeen one Tuesday in March and you’re all
defrosting in flannel shirts and your father’s warm socks, gigglescreamdriving till you get to that one ice cream stand an hour north, just to see if your car can make it, before you realize it’s still closed for the winter.