TITLE: The Present is Past
GENRE: YA Mystery
For Ro, order is the only control against chaos, and it comes with the price of her sanity. No one understands this better than her big sister Athena. Athena and Ro tiptoe around the unsolved mystery that scarred them both early in their childhoods. When Athena vanishes, Ro is determined to find her at any cost. Even if it means remembering.
It was pitch-dark. Enclosed. They could have been in a closet, maybe in an overturned box, under a bed. Wherever they were it was dark. The two sisters couldn’t see so they clung to each other tightly. The big sister’s auburn curls entwined with the younger sister’s ebony locks, much like their fingers were laced together.
“Do you think she’s asleep?” the younger one asked.
“No, I don’t.”
“Do you think we can get out of here?” Her voice quivered.
“No. Not for a long, long time.” The older sister answered and squeezed her fingers hard. The younger sister relaxed into the pressure, feeling worried but safe. The darkness swallowed their small frames, huddled together like shadows scared of reality’s bright glare. Finally, the older sister screamed.
Fourteen years later
Ro was a fine example of a person trying to be good. Despite it all. Or maybe because of it all. Either way she tried. No more than two drinks a night no matter how sharp the wind blew through the poorly insulated thirteenth-floor apartment she called home. Never more than one sick day a month from her roach infested high school and absolutely only one crying jag per week. Usually she scheduled this in after a phone call with her father. One had to have limits, however self-imposed: to cope, to manage, to survive. Or so Ro thought.
Why it was so important to be good was something any person suffering from depression, anxiety and a crushing obsessive complex would understand. But Ro knew no one else with this constellation of traits. Her sister understood. Athena and Ro were tight, maybe because of the murder. They never spoke of it. In fact, they told people their mom died of cancer.