Data has always been the quiet brother on the fringes of the club. Always there when you need him, but never quite fully engaged. That’s because he’s been harboring a secret. Long before he joined the club, he had a friend who meant the world to him; she disappeared, prompting Data to search for her… he’s been looking ever since.
A mysterious message appears on an internet forum: Does anyone remember Amalia Rose?
Of course he does, and he will stop at nothing to get her back. His secret is out, and life is about to change for everyone in some surprising ways.
I jolted awake, the lighting in the room soft from the bedside lamps which were both on but it was the way that light fell on Kyle’s face that made my breath catch in my throat. There were these times, when we were kids, that we would lay under this huge oak tree in this field out by our neighborhood and the light would come through the leaves –
I quickly banished the thought. Those days were long gone; over with… and nothing about them would ever come back or be the same. Still, I didn’t wake him right away, I traced lines that hadn’t been there before with my gaze. Deep brackets to either side of his mouth, and I remembered that easy smile that always graced his lips. Light crow’s feet fanned out from the corners of his eyes, too, but you had to be close, like we were now, to see them.
There was a decent expanse of empty bedspread between us. He kept himself a healthy and respectful distance away, but still, the warm weight of one of his hands rested familiarly against my side, just below where my ribs dipped, before the rise of my hip.
Reassurance that I wasn’t going anywhere or insurance that I wouldn’t without his waking? I couldn’t tell, I didn’t know, and it brought home just how much I didn’t know about him. Not now, not anymore… seventeen years was a long, long, time without so much as a whisper.
I did know one thing for sure: not once in a million years did I ever picture nerdy, intelligent, and honest Kyle Cochran joining a notorious motorcycle gang. I mean, what was that all about? That was way more along the lines of something I would do.
Text Copyright © 2017 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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