54: Mysteries

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She gives up. 

She sighs and stands, ready to clean up the mess she created in the living room. She picks up the photo album and sets it where she found it, without opening it. Hope has drained out of her. 

She resets all of the misplaced cushions, and sets up all of the books she'd pushed over to look behind, and scoots the chair back into the corner. 

It takes her only ten minutes to get everything close enough to its original state to pass for untouched. She stands in the doorway and admires her work, wondering why she bothered to clean it all. It's not like her mother would tell her off for leaving it a mess. 

This thought she pushes from her mind, and instead focuses on walking out of the room. 

Step.

...Step. 

......Step. 

.........Step. 

............Step. 

....................Step. 

She stops, her obsessive curiosity getting the better of her. Her steps change direction and become faster as she moves to the den. 

Thoroughly she searches her mother's desk in the den. The portrait of her father she always kept there; maybe there were other relatives like Jayson there, too. 

She opens all of the drawers and rummages through the piles of paper and dictionaries. Her mother was a writer, too, so there are enormous encyclopedias and dictionaries and thesauri and newspaper clippings she used for information. She found nothing, not one photograph. Not one sticky-note with his name on it. Nothing. 

As she keeps rooting through her mother's belongings, she feels the blood rushing to her face. She doesn't understand how she feels. She's distraught that her mother was gone; disappointed that she left no clue to who her brother was. She's frustrated she can't find anything. Curiosity masks the overall feeling, the emotion that drives it all. The thirst for knowledge of her brother is insane. She doesn't even care anymore. She just wants to know.

She starts to set everything back into place, and then realizes what's missing. 

Her father's portrait. 

It was always kept on the desk, under a sheet of paper, as if that little thin sheet would block out all of the sadness and distress associated with it. But now that she looks around, she can't even know if her father's face was a memory or a dream. 

What other mysteries does her household contain? What other secrets is it hiding?

She sits in the chair and slouches, upset.

What must I do to know?

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