The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent Read Online (FREE)
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I found her.
It took three years, but I found her.
They call her Grace, and while she may not look like them, she is theirs.
And she is also mine.
Her hair is light brown with a little natural wave, the way mine was at that age, and her dark eyes, round and inquisitive, light up her cherubic face when she smiles.
Her mother, Daphne, dresses her in pink lace and oversized hair bows and poses her for pictures every chance she gets, plastering them all over social media.
The first night I stumbled across Daphne McMullen’s Instaface, I stayed up until four in the morning going through all the photographs and status updates, soaking in and screenshotting every last moment and immortalized memory from the day they brought her home from the hospital to the day she blew out the third candle on her double chocolate birthday cake.
One thousand and ninety-five days I missed morphed into One thousand and ninety-five days I recovered over the course of one sleepless night.
I hook a leg over the edge of my bathtub, mindlessly scrolling through Daphne’s newsfeed for the millionth time in the past week. A million times I’ve seen these photos, and yet it’s like the first time, every time.
Steam rises from the water and sweat collects across my brow. I’m in a trance, and I don’t come out until I’m prompted by the sound of my roommate pounding on the door.
“You almost done in there?” she asks. “I put that show on that you wanted to watch. I ordered us a pizza too. Should be here soon.”
She’s so needy, always clinging to me, always telling me her secrets and whining to me about how hard it is to be her. I read her diary at her bizarre insistence, and believe me when I say she has nothing to cry about.
Her car? Paid for.
Her college tuition? Paid for.
This apartment? Paid for.
Her parents? Overachievers with rigorous expectations. Boo-freaking-hoo.
“Yeah,” I call out. “I’ll be out in a few.”
I don’t move. Instead, I keep scrolling, dragging my thumb across the fogged screen of my phone, smiling to myself. I examine another photo, then another and another. I’m not sure how much time passes, but my roommate bangs on the door once more.
“You still in there? Pizza just got here.” Her voice is timid and meek on the other side of the door. Over the past few years, I’ve become her life force. She can’t go anywhere or do anything or make any decisions without me. But lately she’s been withering away, drawing into her shell. She whispers more than she talks these days, and at night I hear her cry through the shared wall that separates our bedrooms, but she won’t get help because the last time she needed it, her parents had her committed.