As I pulled into the parking lot of
the high school, I scanned my surroundings and found myself disappointed. The
high school looked like the type of place on military camp brochures, complete
with the tagline Send your kids here to
break their souls. It was unimpressive in every way possible—from the
sallow lawn being dug up for expansion to the dark, gray walls with vines
creeping up the side.
I parked my car in a corner and pulled down the visor. Reclining my chair, I unfolded an old newspaper dated Sunday, December 27 and scanned the print under the headline “Man Dies in a Car Accident.” The girl was so close now. I could feel it. I didn’t want to be wrong.
The bell rang, and I sat up in my seat, setting the newspaper down on the passenger seat. As the students started to flood out, my gaze skidded over the crowd, looking for a head of black hair. Soon, the steady flow of students began to dwindle, and still no sight of her. When it seemed like the last black-haired girl had come running out of the building, I leaned back in my seat, disappointed.
Perhaps I got it wrong, I thought. I was so sure she would be here. I had traced the man to a woman by the name of Melissa, and then to a picture of her daughter, born on the day of the accident, Myra.
I remembered Death’s words.
You will live again when you find a blood-child born on the winter solstice.
No. This had to be her.
I remained in the school parking lot long after everyone had gone. Slowly, the teachers’ cars began to pull away, until there was only my car, a black Cadillac, and a motorcycle. Just as I was about to give up, convinced I had missed Myra in the crowd, the doors to the school opened once more, and a black-haired girl came out with a schoolbag slung over her shoulder. When I saw her, I knew she was the one I had been looking for. Myra barely spared a glance in my direction as she hopped on the gray motorcycle and drove out of the parking lot.
I watched her drive down the road before I began to follow her. And even then, I kept as far away as I could without losing her. My mind was telling me, This is big, this is it, this is her, but I felt like I was in the eye of the storm.