Paranoia was common for Autumn. A constant nagging fear weighed in her chest at all times, she was forever burdened by this. It had taken a full year to convince herself to sell all of her belongings and take this giant leap. She had to be strong, and she had to leave California, for Maylee. With caution in each step, Autumn slowly made her way up to the condo. She peeked into each window, then tilted an ever listening ear toward the crack in the door.
“Oh, for hell’s sake Autumn, you’re such a weirdo! You’re going to pack up all of your shit and take off on some ‘save the world trek’, and you can’t even walk into your own house without panicking!”
The voice was shrill and mocking. It belonged to Candace, Maylee’s mother. Autumn exhaled and walked inside. The sight of her sister leaning against the bar that connected the kitchen to the dining room was a lot to take in. Candace was tall and skinny. Too skinny, Autumn noted. One bony leg was crossed over the other and a thick string of smoke lifted into the air from the cigarette burning between her fingertips. She rolled her eyes at Autumn dramatically, and then flicked a long ash onto the floor.
“Candace, do you really need to do that? You know I don’t let anyone smoke in my house. You think it’s okay to just ash all over the place?”
“Who cares, you sold it anyway.”
Candace walked over and ran what was left of her smoldering cigarette under water and dropped it into an otherwise spotless ceramic sink. The condo was empty, making it seem even bigger than usual. Autumn looked around her home, holding back the tears that were soon to inevitably flow — it was only a matter of time.
Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her.
It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead, and travels across the country to find more clues about Maylee’s disappearance.
But will she be able to pry Maylee’s case back open, and what will she uncover in the process of searching for Maylee?
It’s a cold, dark world we live in, and Autumn is about to find out just how cruel it can be. But strength and determination are on her side, and she will do whatever it takes to deliver justice.