Everything felt so far away until suddenly it wasn’t.

Lila’s mother came into clear focus as quickly as if she had run into her at the end of a very long, curving tunnel.

“What?” The word felt strange on her tongue somehow.

Lila focused her attention on her mother’s eyes. She was crying and Lila knew immediately that something was wrong…her mother never cried.

“What’s wrong?” she asked now, urgency evident in the two words.

“Where have you been?” her mother cried, her voice thick with tears. Her father was pacing in the background.

“What do you mean?” she asked, confusion slowing her words. “I’m right here, I’ve been right here.”

“Honey, you’ve been gone for six months,” her mother responded gently now. She was kneeling in front of her daughter, their hands tangle together.

“What?” That word again.

She focused again on her mother’s eyes, then her hands gripping Lila’s tightly, and finally on her father pacing, his broad shoulders shaking.

“You were missing,” her father finally spoke, his voice softer than she’d ever heard it. “We just want to know where you were.”

“I didn’t know I was gone.”


Her mother was talking too loudly, excitedly calling people to let them know her daughter was back. But that was typical of Mary Kinney. Whenever she had news, especially news of this caliber, she enjoyed being the one to share it first.

Lila was laying in bed, her mother’s loud voice the background noise to her thoughts. She was wondering how six months of her life had passed without notice.

She hadn’t believed her parents until she saw the snow outside. The last she knew it had been June… Now it was December. “A Christmas miracle” she could hear her mom saying.

Lila wasn’t so sure. How do you even move on when you’ve lost so much time you didn’t even know was gone?

Six months missing and she didn’t even know what for…

She tried to think, tried to remember but there was nothing there. Her last memory was of watching a late night talk show with her father. Her mother… what had her mother been doing?

She suddenly remembered her mother at the window, peering out into the dark.

“The sky looks so strange…” her mother had said quietly. Her father got up from his chair and crossed the room to stand behind her mother.

“Take a look.” Lila had watched as her father leaned forward, staring where her mother was pointing.

“What are those lights?” he asked suddenly.

“I don’t know,” her mother replied. “I’m going outside to get a better look.”

Her mother turned to look at her, curiosity making her eyes shine brightly.


She heard her mother’s voice, but her mouth remained closed.

“Lila?” Cold fingers gripped her arm, and suddenly she was fighting to get her arm free from a lifeless hand.

She woke suddenly, breathing heavily. Her mother was sitting on the edge of her bed, a startled look on her face.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” her mother asked, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“I’m fine,” she replied, her voice shaky. She hadn’t even realized she had fallen asleep.

“Are you sure?” Lila nodded and tried to slow her breathing.

Her mother soothed a hand over Lila’s hair.

“I have to bring you to the police station tomorrow morning, if you’re up to it,” she said after a moment. “They just have a few questions for you.”

“That’s fine,” Lila said.

“They also recommended that I bring you to the doctor to get examined,” she added. “I scheduled an appointment for tomorrow as well.”

“Why do I need to see the doctor?”

“You’ve been gone for six months and don’t remember anything,” her mom answered. “We have no idea what you went through while you were missing. It’s just to make sure you’re okay.”

“But I’m fine, Mom,” she said. “Honestly.”

“I know, sweetheart,” her mom said, eyes shining with unshed tears. “But for mine and your father’s sake, could you see the doctor?”

Lila knew everything was fine. She could just feel it. She felt like herself…but she had been gone for six months. She didn’t know where she was or who she was with, and though for whatever reason she believed that everything was okay, she could understand her mother’s worry. That just wasn’t going to go away or be ignored.

“Okay, I’ll go to the doctor too,” she consented. Her mother took her hand in hers and gave it a squeeze.

“Thank you,” she whispered, smiling at her daughter. She leaned forward and pressed her lips to Lila’s forehead. “I’m glad you’re home now. Why don’t you go back to sleep?”

“I’m glad I’m home too,” Lila said, returning her mother’s smile. Her m other stood up, heading out of her bedroom. Once the door had closed with a soft click, Lila lay back down and was quickly taken away by her dreams once again.
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I suck at NaNo. I need to get writing more.