TITLE: Seeking Sara Sterling
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Twenty-One Pilots blares from my car stereo as I stare out at the parking lot next door. The music has a way of numbing my mind, taming the roiling emotions inside me. I can’t bring myself to get out of the car just yet.
A skinny, unshaven man emerges from a beat-up pickup truck and flicks his cigarette to the ground. He starts toward the entrance of the One Dollar Store but then looks my way, the music escaping my partially rolled-down window likely catching his attention. His eyes lock with mine. I want to look away, but they’re the same bright green color as Bryan’s. The man smirks, as if he knows all about what happened last night. My jaw clenches tight, and I look away.
When the song ends, I shut off the engine and push out a sigh. Time to face my new reality.
My manager’s voice pulls me from a daze as I walk through the door. He’s at my post—the front desk of Alejandro’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant—straightening a stack of menus. I force my mouth into a smile, but it feels all wrong.
I wonder if everyone can see the trauma written all over my face. Ramon doesn’t. Or at least, he doesn’t let on that he does. I’m nearly an hour late, but I’d called earlier to let him know I would be.