Never before had she experienced such happiness. The tearing of the paper between her fingers sent ripples of pleasure throughout her body. The sound masked the loud, audible gasps of her mother, as her hand went to her mouth, and a faint, “No,” escaped them. That just made her smile even more. Cassandra was finally happy.
Her father had given her an incredible graduation gift – information. For years Cassandra had asked about the boy that would come to her in her dreams. She remembered him – he was locked in her memories, always just out of grasp; just beyond her ability to pull him to the forefront of her mind. But she had confirmation that the sandy-haired boy was in fact her brother, who had been abducted from their front yard when he was six-years-old. Cassandra had been only 4, but she remembered the mass hysteria, the police, and the tears – the endless tears. But her parents had refused to talk about it when she had asked over the years. They denied the existence of her memories. But the boy in her dreams would insist on returning in the darkness, begging Cassandra to help him find his way home. That was exactly what she was going to do. College would wait. It was more important to return to North Carolina, her childhood home, and find her big brother.