I learned about my mother’s disappearance from the evening news. I looked up from my textbook when I overheard my surname and recognized the exact cypress tree that grew outside my bedroom window.
From that point on, my life turned into a stream of simple equations.
How long my mother had been missing (one day).
How long since I’d had an actual conversation with her (just over a year).
The cost of a bus ticket back to Coeur du Lac, my adopted hometown ($15).
The amount left in my bank account after spending fifteen dollars ($110.67).
How doomed I would be if I abandoned Chicago for longer than three nights (very: I had four exams looming within the next few weeks)…