April 4, 2002

Gone

A year after leaving high school, I left my family and friends, saying nothing to anyone. No one who knew me had idea where I had gone. I could have been dead for all they knew – and some did come to believe that, or fear it.

When I returned, after six years of silence, my sister was no longer a ten-year-old girl but a young woman. To help me adjust, she gave me photos of herself from the time I had missed. I would place them in a row in chronological order and try to grasp what had happened. But it was no use. To me my sister was gone, and this new girl, the grown one, had come in her place.