Chapter One: July 8th, 2017
Petrichor. It’s only when that smell lingers in the summer air that I remember that night. My father told me that’s what you call the smell of rain on concrete, petrichor, and it’s here now. Streaming in through my open window, innocently permeating the air around it, unaware that the very smell sends my heart hammering into my chest, makes my palms sweat and my head dizzy.
It’s unnoticeable to everyone else in this house, but for me, it’s a warning, a gut-wrenching scream breaking the stillness of the night.
At twenty-seven it still pulls the memory to the forefront of my mind, wrestles it from deep within me where I’ve tried to lock it away. It’s never any use no matter how hard I try because I always remember the night I was taken.
Anyone familiar with the Eleanore Brennan Missing Child case from 1997 believes that twenty years ago something or someone saved me from a terrible fate simply because I was found alive. Though no one could ever prove I was anywhere but lost, they all had their theories: a pedophile in the area scared off by the search parties or an escaped convict who couldn’t bring himself to take the life of an innocent seven-year-old. Not one of those theories was even mildly correct, but I never spoke about what happened to me. Instead, I went on, trying to forget, wearing a mask of happiness and relief—living a lie. But that lie stops now, twenty years to the day, I’m going to make what happened to me right.