Hour Twenty-one

After more than 1,100 miles on interstates, it’s finally time to exit. It’s entirely impossible to drive seventy-seven miles per hour on the two-lane state highway that takes us farther north, up toward the Catskills. But we’ll be okay. Radar, ever the brilliant tactician, has banked an extra thirty minutes without telling us. It’s beautiful up here, the late-morning sunlight pouring down on old-growth forest. Even the brick buildings in the ramshackle little downtowns we drive past seem crisp in this light.

Lacey and I are telling Ben and Radar everything we can think of in hopes of helping them find Margo. Reminding them of her. Reminding ourselves of her. Her silver Honda Civic. Her chestnut hair, stick straight. Her fascination with abandoned buildings.

“She has a black notebook with her,” I say.

Ben wheels around to me. “Okay, Q. If I see a girl who looks exactly like Margo in Agloe, New York, I’m not going to do anything. Unless she has a notebook . That’ll be the giveaway.”

I shrug him off. I just want to remember her. One last time, I want to remember her while still hoping to see her again.

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