Part I: Journeys (Chapter 11)


Westbound on the Indiana Turnpike, Exit 49–La Porte

Remember the first time we went to Arkansas to see Ruby?

Nineteen eighty-seven. I was so scared.

Did you know that? I was afraid she wouldn’t like me, that she’d blame me for the Mallorys giving her away. Maybe she’d even blame me for how the wicked witch of the south – Daddy Platt’s sister – abused her.

But mostly I was afraid because she was no longer a 22-month-old baby who adored me.

She had her own life now, one that included me only on a peripheral level. Too many years had passed, and we would never share the banter and the memories normal sisters take for granted.

When we pulled up in front of her little rock house and I saw her thin silhouette framed in the doorway – real fear stabbed me in the heart.

I don’t want to talk about it.

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