Ebony & Frank: 9

The next morning, as the day started creeping in on the horizon, Eb sat erect on the bed, clutching the covers to her chest. Erratic breathing. The shadows on the walls long and deep. She kept an eye on the door. Had she heard voices? What kind of voices? She’d been asleep when the muffled conversation had woke her, but now that she sat there, staring as if a statue, she wasn’t entirely sure. Perhaps she’d dreamt it. 
‘Don’t you walk out that door, Evie!’ the voice had demanded, like a warning of sorts. Who was Evie?
Eb shuddered, wishing she’d hear Frank wobbling down the corridor, floorboards creaking beneath him soon so she could go home. Sigh. Home wasn’t really anything but four walls of an old farm house that had somehow stayed erect despite years of neglect. Similar to her, she supposed; a woman the world forgot. A woman with no past, and seemingly no future, still defiantly standing in the world, determined to be noticed. 
The house creaked with its age. The soothing rustle of leaves outside lulled her enough to let her sleep once more, only to dream of the red barn doors she’d been seeing for months. It meant nothing she supposed. 
‘Sleep okay?’ Frank thudded a cup of coffee in front of her and sat down on the only other chair in his ‘dinning’ room. Like the rest of the house, or at least what she’d seen, there really wasn’t much to Frank Whatever’s name. 
‘Have you only recently moved in too?’ She couldn’t help herself when she noticed that the chairs, one on which she sat and the other in which Frank sat were different too. Paint peeling. One with straight legs and the other early European style. 
Frank glared at her. ‘No.’
‘I was just asking cause you haven’t, I mean, it’s empty-ish.’ She stammered. ‘I’m sorry, none of my business.’
Frank shrugged. ‘It wasn’t always like this.’ He drained his coffee and stood up so quick it jostled Eb. ‘Come on. I gotta drop you to the town and head over to Healy’s place to fix their gutters. And I haven’t any food to feed you.’
Without even checking to see if she was following, Frank marched out the front door. The screen door swinging behind him. Eb took one sip of the coffee in a hurry and dashed out, pulling the door closed behind her. 
‘You didn’t lock up.’ She snatched on the seat belt as the ute zipped in reverse before she could even settle in.
‘Nothing I care about in there anyway.’
Eb couldn’t help but eye him from the corner of her eyes. Something she said last night had ticked him off and it was obvious he was in a rush to rid of her. She wound down the window and leaned over the crack on her hand and stared as the cane fields whipped past her view. 

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