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By David Cristofano

Whilst Melody Grace McCartney was once six years outdated, she and her mom and dad witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it replaced their lives eternally. the government lured them into the Witness safeguard software with the promise of protection, they usually went gratefully. however the application took Melody's identify, her domestic, her innocence, and, finally, her kinfolk. She's been may possibly Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and numerous others--everyone however the one individual she longs to be: herself. So while the feds spirit her off to start one more new lifestyles in one other city, she's shocked whilst a guy confronts her and calls her through her actual identify. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso despatched to seek her down, is familiar with her, the genuine her, and it is a risky thrill that Melody cannot withstand. he is insistent that she's only a pawn within the government's battle opposed to the Bovaro relations. yet can she belief her existence and her id to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are mythical?

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I panicked. I bought out of the bathe nonetheless coated in cleaning soap and reached for the telephone. i wished a mom, a sister, a pal. Who used to be I presupposed to name, Farquar? there has been nobody. nobody. I simply stared on the mobile and wept. Sean can inform he’s misplaced me, takes in a breath like he’s going to invite one other query or offer a few nice perception, yet, unfortunately, it turns into a superb exhale of nothingness. “You know,” I say, looking at because the younger couple hops again into their vehicle and speeds away, “I don’t even care anymore. simply take me someplace and sell off me. it doesn't matter what position you are taking me to, I’ve been there prior to. ” Sean attempts to get me to examine him, like any of a unexpected he’s checking out out a bit compassion. I obtained information for him: He should still attend the category first. I waft down within the seat, shut my eyes, and suppose the early pangs of a headache. “Point B, Sean. simply take me to indicate B. ” evening falls as we force without delay west. The solar and stars don't have any which means whilst I’m at the road—that is, en path to my new locale—because you could sit down behind a automobile and devour junk nutrients and do not anything both over a twenty-four-hour interval. Time merely issues upon getting your inn room and the tv turns into your ally. It seems element B is a small city in West Virginia, and although it appears like this can be punishment for disagreeing with my protector, i do know Sean had not anything to do with the logistics of the operation. Sean parks the auto within the approximately deserted parking zone of a skanky hotel. He opens my door as I start to acquire my recommendations and my belonging (that’s correct, no longer belongings—all i've got is that eco-friendly sweater from Jonathan; for now, it’s enough). As I achieve over the seat, I observe Sudoku puzzle books on most sensible of my sweater. I slowly choose them up when you consider that I’m uncertain they’re for me. “Oh,” Sean says, “I received these for you awhile again. notion chances are you'll like a few math puzzles to paintings on on your, uh, unfastened time. ” I smile as i am getting out. “That’s candy. ” That, in fact, is all it really is; Sudoku is as a lot approximately math as crossword puzzles are approximately literature. This time, as Sean walks me to my room, we don't communicate. He opens the door to my contrarily sumptuous suite, arms me the major, mumbles anything approximately seeing me within the morning. I shut the door sooner than he's accomplished. in the event you blindfolded me, i couldn't inform you if i used to be sitting at the mattress in a hotel room in Arkansas or Kentucky or New Mexico or West Virginia. The odor of the radiators, the squeaks of the mattresses, the sound of the couple arguing within the room to the left and the sound of the noisily snoring marshal within the room to the fitting, the texture of the worn blanket that has most likely been the canvas of 1000 sexual trysts and not washed, the frayed carpet below my naked toes, and the indisputable smell of mold tucked away within the some distance corners of the room—all a similar. i'm bored with crying and i'm bored with blaming and i'm uninterested in Sean and what's going to turn out being his cookie-cutter substitute. i'm bored with being force-fed my existence. i'm uninterested in residing, yet what retains me from dragging a blade throughout my wrist or diving off one of many crippled bridges that pass the polluted rivers my inn rooms predictably border is the assumption of life—that by some means, sometime, i'll determine the way to event what it truly is prefer to dwell in unfettered happiness, to delight in the liberty of safeguard, and eventually to appreciate the individual i'm alleged to be.

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