Joined: 25 Jul 2008
When Andrea MecGregor was nine years old, her little sister Amy was murdered in cold
blood. Fifteen years later, she returns to her native Windsor, Ontario, and the case has
been all but given up on. But when a long-forgotten character from her past emerges just
as Andrea is about to hit her breaking point, a new light is shed on her sister's
This is just the prologue, which is written in a very different style from the rest of the
book. I don't want to give it all away, but just bear with me, okay? If it seems liek it
is poorly written, don't worry, I meant it to look the exact way that it does. Just trust
me on this one.
The word, "Hi, I'm Andrea," never really worked out all too well for me. They were the
first words I've ever said to anyone whom I've met, and as of yet I've failed to have a
successful relationship with a single person. The first time I ever said those three
words was the day my little sister, Amy Olivia MacGregor, was born. I was four years old,
and I didn't know a single thing about babies or childbirth. All I knew was that my
parents had left the house at o'clock the last night, leaving my aunt to take care of me.
Now it was five in the morning- the earliest I'd ever been awake at -and we were all at
When I walked into my mother's room, there was a baby girl in her arms. It must have
been the little sibling I knew I was getting. I'd been hoping for a brother, but she's
have to do.
"Andrea," my fatherhad said, "this is your new baby sister. Her name is Amy Olivia.
Why don't you introduce yourself?"
I backed up against my father's chest. I hadn't wanted a sister. A sister would steal
my dolls and try on my shoes and want to sleep in my bed. A brother would just leave me
alone. I liked being alone.
Refusing to get any closer to my mother and the baby. I shoved my head into my father's
arm and whispered, "Hi, I'm Andrea."
Five years later, I'd intoduced myself a lot of times, and it had never worked out. My
teachers all hated me and I had no friends I couldn't blame them, really. I wasn't
exactly a happy child, and people liked to say that I was too smart for my age... eerily
smart. I refused to play games with the other girls, and I almost never put my hand up in
class, even though I almsot always knew the answer.
"That girl's gonna have problems when she's older, Benjamin." That was what my Auntie
Agnes always said to my father. Of course, Auntie AGnes was fifty-six years old and one
of the least pleasant people you'll ever met. And she would always say that. One day...
one day that girl was going to have problems...
To top things off on my unlikeability factor, there was a certain palour to my freckly
face and a smile had been yet unseen by mot of my peers. Always about fifteen pounds
underweight, I had no chest to speak of until I was about fifteen. My cheeks were thin
and pasty and forever framed by my bone straight, chestnut-coloured. I'd always felt I
was the ugliest little thign going, but my parents assured me that I was very beautiful in
my own, dark way. Someone once said the the term 'gothic beauty' was coined just for me.
But I never felt beautiful.
My life changed drastically on September 4th, 1994. It was the first day of fourth
grade, and what was supposed to be Amy's first day of kindergarten. Luckily for her,
though, she'd contracted strep from our cousin at a Labour Day party. I was sitting at
the far end of the field, like I always did, humming and talking to myself, when a little
red-headed kid walked up to me and sat down.
"Hi," he said excitedly. It was only when he started talking to me that I realized I
didn't know him.
"Hi," I whispered. "I'm Andrea." I was horrendously shy and had really no clue what
to say to this boy who just decided I needed someone to talk to. People didn't just do
that... especially boys. Boys our age never talked to girls. it was an unwritten rule.
The bell that signaled the beginning of the school day rang, and we both got up from
our spots on the grass. The boy had to be at least fiveinches shorter than me, even with
his red head of hair gelled up and spiked.
"I'm Peter," he said with a grin. "what are you doing over here?"
I thought about what my answer would bem twirling my braid before I spoke. "I like to
be alone. And people don't really talk to me because I'm too deep."
Peter shrugged. "That's stupid. I like talkiong to you already!"
I smiled brightly at him and tore off towards the school, Peter right on my heels.
After just one (albeit short) conversation, I had made my very first friend. I would
never, ever forget him or the effort he made to make me happy. From that day on, I
lovedhim more than anyone else in the world.
That day my dad picked me up a half an hour early from school. I couldn't read his
facial expression, but I knew he wasn't hapy. he came in and whispered something to my
teacher. I remember her hand flying to her mouth and all of the colour draining from her
face. I was dismissed without another word from anyone. I stopped in the doorwya, waved
goodbye to Peter, and followed my dad outside. I never saw him again.
As soon as I saw the yellow police lines around our house, something inside me snapped.
I slammed the passenger door open and barreled into the house, ignoring the police sirens
and frantic calls of my mother. I locked myself in my room and didn't come out until
morning. Nobody came in, or at least no one that I remember. I don't really remember
that night very well at all. I remember that I wasn't allowed to see my sister's body.
nor did I want to. And I remember that the next morning my door was taken off its hinges,
lying on my floor, and there was apacked suitcase at foot of my bed.
That afternoon, my father and I got on a plane and flew to Languedoc, a city in the
south of France. A week later my mom showed up with a ceramic box. Inside that box was
what everyone was calling 'Amy's ashes.' Two year slater I leaned what that meant, and I
wept bitterly. I never got to see her with her eyes sewn shut and a calm, peaceful smile
on her lips. If she had been my child, that would not have been the choice I would have
made. She was there and then she was gone, and that was that.
After the service, I learned trhat I was to stay in Languedoc with my aunt Mary. My
parents felt it would help me to 'get over the sting of Amy's passing.' I was going to
miss Mom and Dad, but at that point I was glad that I could stay with my sister, who was
buried on the edge of Aunt Mary's sprawling 20-acre property. her grave was under an
apple tree, and in my preteen years that was where I spent all my weekends and holidays.
And then I turned fourteen.
That night was the night I lost the real me. In France I had made riends and lost my
pale skin and freckles. My life was, in essentials, perfect. But I was still broken.
That night, sitting in my big Bay window sill, thinking about my home in Windsor, I came
upon a realization: all these years, I'd been in love with Peter and after all the ngihts
I'd spent, laying awake, wishing that he would turn up here on vacation orsomething, I was
really and truly never going to see him again. Somehow, that reminded me of Amy, adn for
the first time in my life, her deathr eally hit me. She was gone; dead. I was never
going to tell her that I loved her ever, ever again until the day I died. And I had loved
her so much.
As I cried myself to sleep, I began to lose Andrea Nicolette MacGregor. Whoever I was
when I woke up the next morning, it wasn't Andrea. She was gone, and unlike Peter or Amy,
I had no idea were she went.