Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley was 12 years old when his Heterochromia finally finished developing. He knew other children in his class whose eyes had settled sooner, his had come through a little later than he was expecting. There are some people who have to wait longer. Maddie had already met who she believed to be her soulmate; Evan wasn’t so certain. He had a bad feeling about Doug. Doug seemed so manipulative. Evan had a feeling that Doug was lying to Maddie about them being Soulmates. His sister had the wool pulled over her eyes, but essentially she was so in love and didn’t want to believe anything else. Maddie always told him he was too immature to understand love, and she loved Doug and nothing her little brother can say could change that.
Evan was all alone in the house with his abusive father. His mother never did anything to stop it, he began to resent her. She was supposed to be his mother, she was supposed to protect him.
Evan looked into the bathroom mirror, carefully cleaning the gash on his lip. He learnt to take care of himself. No one else was there to take care of him. He had to look after himself and sometimes his father when his mother wasn’t around. Evan noticed his right eye had fully changed colour. It was a stark difference compared to his left eye that was a pale bluish hue. The new colour that finished shifting ended up being a light brown almost hazel colour.
“Come down here, Evan! Now!” His father roared. Evan flinched, hesitating. He knew if he waited longer the punishment would be so much worse. Evan ran down the stairs, stopping at the bottom and further hesitating at the entrance to the living room where his father was drunk and sitting watching the television. He didn’t want to go in. He was terrified. He had been living like this for so long. There were quite a few hospital visits for broken bones, his mother had just played it up like he had fallen out of a tree or some other bullshit story that the doctors always seemed to believe.
“You wanted to see me?" Evan spoke, standing to attention. His father’s eyes snapped to him; he noticed the new colouring to Evan’s eye.
“Cover them. No one wants to see that. It is disgusting."
Evan flinched. It never made any sense why he was told to cover up his Heterochromia. His father had it, but his eyes had never changed, though. His wife wasn’t his soulmate, which is probably why he is a bitter old man. There was one day he had noticed that his mother’s eyes have changed. Evan then realized where she went all the time. He knew his father had noticed and he took it all out on Evan as his wife was never around.
Even when Maddie was home, Evan’s father would abuse him, but it was never where she could see. He would always threaten to kill him if he told anyone about the abuse. There were a couple of times he thought Maddie had gotten suspicious. She never did anything though. She ended up spending all her free time with Doug. She didn’t have enough time for her little brother’s problems. She had no idea at the time that the problem was bigger than she thought. Maddie ended up moving out to live with Doug, Evan begged her to take him with her, but she didn’t want her annoying little brother hanging around her and her boyfriend. How could Maddie leave him like this? Evan knew she wanted to get away and live with Doug. He hated that she did that to him, left him with his tormentor.
“You are such a disappointment."
“You can’t do anything right."
“No wonder your sister left you behind."
“Why did you think anyone would take you seriously."
“I always knew you were stupid; this just confirms it."
“You need to lose some weight you’re getting fat."
“You never think do you!"
“No-one will ever love you."
“You are pathetic."
“I thought I told you to cover that up!"
As time went by the abuse got worse, Evan had finally saved enough money to buy a set of contacts to cover up his Heterochromia. The shade wasn’t exactly the same, but it was close enough to his actual eye colour.
The physical abuse lessened after he started wearing a blue contact over his brown eye. The mental abuse hadn’t changed at all. His father was still cruel, taking things Evan had been already self-conscious of and made him hate himself.
“Why did you think anyone would take you seriously?"
“I always knew you were stupid; this just confirms it."
“You need to lose some weight you’re getting fat."
This went on for years. When he was about to turn eighteen, Evan packed up and left Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. He couldn’t take it anymore. No one would miss him. The only thing his father would miss was his punching bag, but Evan was done. He was done a long time ago, but only now was he able to afford getting out of Pennsylvania. He wanted to get as far away as he could. He never wanted to see his family again. He wanted Maddie, but he hadn’t heard from her in a few months. Evan would send her the odd message, sometimes he would get a reply, but they were only two-word replies. There were no details in her replies whatsoever. He would send her cards in the mail but never got anything back, he hoped she was ok.
Evan started working odd jobs around different states, trying to find a place to call home. Nowhere felt right. He’d spend a few months in one place, then decide it wasn’t for him, so he would pick somewhere else further away and start over.
When he was twenty-four, he tried bartending in South America for the summer. He loved it, but he still didn’t get the feeling of home. The people were great, so were the endless stream of one-night stands, but who was counting. Just because there was someone out there destined for him doesn’t mean he can’t have fun until then. Most of the time it just made him feel nothing, he at least wanted to connect with someone, but that didn’t seem to happen. Maybe it was time to move on.
Evan then packed his bags up and headed to his next destination. He had always wanted to be a Navy Seal and they were now accepting training applicants in Illinois. Evan managed to get through the first couple of weeks of training when he began to realize that they wanted machines. They wanted people who could flip a switch in their heads to become mindless, void of every human instinct. He dropped out after that. He couldn’t be that person he wasn’t that person, he wanted to help people not be a robot.
Evan then packed his bags yet again and started to make his way to his next destination. He had always liked the sunshine. California always had constant sunshine, except for the occasional rainy day. He jumped in his car and just drove he’d decide on the way.
Maybe he’d go further up the west coast. Maybe to California. California was as far away from Pennsylvania as he could get. No-one could find him there. No-one would want to search the whole country just to find him, he wasn’t important enough for people to want to look for him. He left six years ago, and no-one had tried. He was all alone. He had no friends. His sister had lost contact with him, no matter how hard he tried, she had just stopped replying. Even she had stopped caring.
Evan then started anew in Los Angeles, California.
Evan was trying to figure out what to do now that he had dropped out of Seal training. He was lost, had no idea what to do with himself now that he had no purpose. He was all alone still, no-one to help him. Evan could never have an office job, he liked having face to face human interaction. If he was stuck behind a desk, he’d barely have that. He was more of an impulsive person, sure he probably needed to think through some of his decisions before he made them, but he wouldn’t be where he was now if he wasn’t impulsive. His luck started changing when he ran into an LAFD recruiter, and he signed up almost immediately. Being a firefighter spoke to him and he couldn’t wait to start his training to become an LAFD Firefighter. Evan then registered to study fire science at the university to help improve his chances. He split his time between the training and studying. He didn’t have a lot time on his hands to do much else, but it was worth it.
There was a written exam you had to pass, which Evan blew through. It wasn’t hard, he heard some others struggled a bit with some of the tests they were given. Doing the CPAT was easy for Evan as he was fit from the Navy Seal training and afterwards kept himself in shape. Evan flew through every test they threw at him.
Evan ended up at the Fire Academy to continue learning everything he could. His course in Fire Science definitely helped with a lot of the knowledge he needed. After the academy, he had an interview, then was hired and assigned to Station 118.
He had made it. After all the intense hours of training and studying, he actually made it. Sure, he was only a Probationary Firefighter, but if he keeps his nose clean, he can become a full firefighter.
“You will report to Captain Robert Nash of the 118."
Evan stood in front of the 118, he was shaking. This was it. Evan was nervous. He could see the shiny fire trucks parked in the building along with an ambulance. As he walked between the fire trucks taking everything in, he was getting more nervous. Not many people were downstairs, a couple was cleaning equipment. A man pointed him in the direction of Captain Nash. Buck slowly walked up the stairs navigating his way past small round tables of firefighters eating. He made his way to a large dining room table where the group was talking and laughing.
Evan made his way to the man he thought was Captain Nash.
“Uh- Hi," Evan waved at the group of people sitting at the table eating.
“Um Evan Buckley, new recruit. I was told to report to Captain Nash." The people sitting at the table were looking at each other puzzled.
Evan started to panic. Did I go to the wrong station? Did I not actually get put here? Stupid Evan, there you go messing it up again. But why would they point him in this direction if he had the wrong station?
“You know a Captain Nash?" The older man spoke talking to one of his tablemates.
The man looked over at him with a straight face.
“Uh." What do I even say? I just barged in not even bothering to check first that he had the right man. Evan started looking around for the nearest exit.
“Take a seat Evan." The man, Captain Nash spoke, smiling, patting the chair next to him.
Everyone around the table started laughing. Evan laughed weakly. Evan, you need to relax it was just a prank. They were just messing with you, it wasn’t serious.
“Uh, Buck. Everyone just calls me Buck." Buck put his bag down and sat in the chair offered to him.
“Welcome to the 118 Buck."
“Thank you,- Uh, this is amazing. Is it always like this?" Buck looked at the dinner spread in front of him on the table. A Korean man puts pasta in a bowl for him and handed it over.
The woman in front of him, then spoke. “Always."
“Well, when Bobby’s in the Captain's chair anyway." The Korean man continued on the woman’s answer.
“I think I might be in the right place."