Eva Clementine has probably heard mention of the Three Gorges Dam. She may even be aware that it is on the Yangtze River. But it is unlikely that the news of the dam being fully operational has had any impact on her. At some point in the not too distant past Eva probably also heard about the opening of a very expensive physics laboratory under the borderlands between Switzerland and France. Perhaps she saw printed somewhere the words Large Hadron Collider and, more recently, Higgs boson particle. But it is certain that news of the discovery of the latter (using the former), a monumental event in the world of physicists, has made no impression whatsoever on Eva Clementine.
It is Tuesday, late morning. Eva is standing on a busy bus, en route to visit her son, Emilio. She’s tired and hot and her hips and feet ache and she’s having some difficulty keeping her multitude of bags from tipping over. A seat would be greatly appreciated. Moments like this the world should that know Eva Clementine has been on her feet for a solid 14 hours.
Emilio is eleven and currently living with Eva’s father, Ferdinand, and his second wife, Tessa. An arrangement made of necessity a few months back when Oscar, Eva’s last boyfriend, was busted for possession. Narcotics (the third time in two years); unlicensed firearms; and, off the record, intel (on a possible racketeering operation that used a low-income housing development as a front for a suite of illegal activities). None of which ruffled Eva. She knew Oscar was up to no good. But this time it directly affected Emilio, who witnessed Oscar being arrested.
Eva saw this as the opportunity she’d been waiting for and acted quickly. Within two days she cleared out the apartment she and Emilio shared with Oscar. Thankfully her father supported her decision. He opened his doors to them both. But Eva works overnights at an elderly care facility across town. A hard job to get. She didn’t want to lose it. For a month she did the killer commute. Five hours of public transit every day she worked. Given that her shifts were ten hours, it wasn’t long before lack of sleep started affecting her ability to perform the duties expected of her. Something had to give.
A seat opens up. Eva falls into it. Lets herself relax. The heat is demanding. She feels sweat, but won’t give in to it, won’t even allow herself to wrist her brow. Appearances count for something, her mother always said.
Eva took a vacation day to find an apartment closer to work. The original plan didn’t account for Emilio not joining her. It was one of those parental moments where she simply acted without consultation. She found a place. But Emilio didn’t want to leave. He had finally made friends. And they played soccer—Emilio’s only activity of choice. Eva had to do best by her son. She found another apartment, within walking distance of work, and has been commuting back to her father’s ever since. Once a week. On Tuesdays, returning on Fridays.
Things have turned out pretty well. Save that Eva doesn’t really live with her only child, who seems to grow taller every time she sees him.
Eva Clementine probably hasn’t read anything on the Gaia satellite or the latest update on Virgin Galaxy. Tho she reads her daily horoscope, it is unlikely she cares much about modeling an accurate representation of the Milky Way or transporting wealthy earthlings to the upper reaches of the only atmosphere that matters.