66 pages • 2 hours readAshley Flowers
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The next morning, Margot receives another call from Adrienne, who informs her that the newspaper’s owner was unimpressed with her piece. Adrienne suggests that Margot is “blinded by [her] relationship to the January Jacobs case” and that “[n]ot every little girl in the Midwest to go missing was taken by the person who killed [January]” (65). Adrienne fires Margot, telling her to take time to take care of her uncle and to get back to reporting when she is ready.
Margot is despondent at the loss of her passion and paycheck. She looks down at her hands to see familiar half-moon indentations, which come from pressing her nails into her hands, a coping mechanism she developed after learning about January’s murder. Luke tells her that she needs to see something on the television and Margot follows him. The news anchor reveals that someone wrote a message on the side of Billy Jacobs’s barn, and Margot decides to go investigate.
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When she arrives, Margot is relieved to see that the place is not already swarming with reporters. She parks and looks across the street at her old childhood home, once again imagining “a faceless man standing in the middle of the street, his gaze oscillating between that window and January’s, then making a choice” (70).