Chapter Eleven

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"It's hard to shake the feeling

These phonies make my blood run cold

That talk ain't got no meaning

The shadowing is growing old

It's getting hard to fake it

Pretending that I fit this scene

Fed up with the chasing

If I lead, would you follow me?

Running, running, running from my problems

You'll be sitting pretty baby, hold on tight

Racing towards a dream on the horizon

Gimme something better than this hollow life...

Fear is breaking us in two

In the end it's just a daydream

Are you feeling like I do...?"

-Coast Modern, "Hollow Life"

I stared at the name on the screen in front of me. Its ghost mocked me—nothing more than a pretender that had conceived me on a bed of lies and then tortured me for its shortcomings. It blinked, wavered, the screen cutting out for a moment before blaring it all the more clear. The name was etched in black, 12-point Arial font on the harsh, white backdrop behind it:

Darrow, Judas.

I'd looked at it many times since I was eight, struck with wonder that this man could have managed to have not only one, but two households, two different lives, two completely different stories. Three and half hours from where my mother and I had lived under his torment, there was another family—a whole other set of people whose lives he'd destroyed.

My eyes skimmed the familiar information they'd read so many times I had lost count:

Darrow, Judas.


Last known address:

4820 Trinity Road

Lynchburg, Virginia 24501

I felt that same longing—a gnawing, aching hunger in my chest while my gaze lighted upon the next sentences:

Other possible residents/family:

Darrow, C., age 38-43

Darrow, A., age 14-16

I sat back in my computer chair, fingers gripping the front of the wide, oak desk as they always did when I came upon her name.

My sister.

Darrow, A.

Her name started with an A.

Age 14-16.

Close to my age. Maybe just a couple years younger than me, maybe as many as four years younger. But close.

Darrow, A.

What could her name be? I'd wondered to myself endlessly throughout my lonely childhood, mind lighting over name after name that just didn't seem to fit.




Nothing sounded right.

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