Read The Lost Sister Online

Authors: Megan Kelley Hall

The Lost Sister

BOOK: The Lost Sister
11.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
The Lost Sister
The Lost Sister
Megan Kelley Hall

KENSINGTON BOOKS

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

To my rock star,
My movie star,
My wish upon a star come true;
Piper Elizabeth Hall,
This is for you.

Acknowledgments

First of all, I’d like to thank my husband, Eddie, not only because he’s my best friend, most ardent supporter, and the love of my life, but also because he noted that I put him on the last page of my acknowledgments in
Sisters of Misery
. So, right off the bat, I want to say, thank you, Eddie! Thank you, thank you!

The members of my family, Gloria, Jocelyn, Connor, and Jim Kelley, have been so incredibly helpful. I am forever indebted to you for all you’ve done for me and my career as a writer: from giving me moral support, to helping me with the daunting task of raising an incredibly willful and spirited six-year-old while attempting to write books; from giving sage advice, to being there when I needed you—always.

To Kelley & Hall Book Publicity, thank you for taking a debut young adult novel and getting it onto the pages of
USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Boston
magazine, and
Family Circle
. No easy feat, for sure! You do an amazing job for all of your authors and are the hardest-working people I’ve ever known.

To Elisabeth Weed, agent extraordinaire, thank you for supporting and encouraging my work, and for giving me wonderful advice when I needed it most.

To the most amazing editor anyone could ever ask for: Danielle Chiotti. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with you on my first two books.

I’d like to thank the members of the GCC—the Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit: a fabulously talented group of women writers who are so supportive and generous. Thank you for bringing me into your circle of friends. You’ve all provided so much encouragement and help during the stressful and sometimes painful process of writing and promoting books. You girls help make it a blast!

To my in-laws, Shirley and Fred Hall, thanks for the encouragement and enthusiasm throughout the years. And Fred, I’m so happy to have made my way onto your signed, first-edition, debut-author bookshelf.

Thanks to all the incredible book bloggers, reviewers, and teens out there who championed
Sisters of Misery
and gave me such wonderful reviews.

And, most of all, I have to thank Piper Elizabeth, my little movie star. Who could have predicted that you would be in your first movie the same year that my first book came out? I know that you wish I wrote “real” books (i.e., books for six-year-olds) and that I would spend less time on e-mail, on the computer, and doing “book stuff.” But I want you to know that you provide constant inspiration, a wonderful reprieve from my work, and that your energy and excitement about the world around you is truly magical. You are my best friend and my whole reason for being. I promise in the future to try to stop saying that I’ll play with you “in a minute,” spend less time working on the computer, and more time playing with my little fairy princess.

Prologue

THE MORNING AFTER MISERY ISLAND

C
ordelia took off her shoes. She walked slowly up the side of the giant rock that lurched into the water, picking her way along the jagged edges, not noticing the rough barnacles as they dug into her feet. Her hands were still bloodied and filthy from the horrific events from the previous night. She looked out across the water as the sun made its ascent into the sky and looked out at Misery Island. The daylight made the place seem harmless, almost tranquil. There was no evidence of the violence and the cruelty that she’d endured the night before. The hatred that was bestowed upon her by the girls made the bile rise up in the back of her throat, but Maddie’s involvement—her own sister!—made her want to cry.

And Abigail! Abigail hadn’t even let her shower—hadn’t let her say good-bye to anyone. What was the point now? Everything had been a lie. Her real father wasn’t the one she’d always believed him to be. Her aunt hated her. Her sister had betrayed her. Her own mother—her best friend—had lied to her. She only had one person she could count on in this world—herself.

Cordelia knew that she would be leaving Hawthorne forever. And she wanted to get one final glance before she headed out of town. With the money given to her by Reed and Finn burning in her pocket, it was enough to get her away and give her a new start. The blood that snaked down her leg convinced her that if she ever had been pregnant, it was all lost now. The harsh blows and kicks she received out on the island had put an end to a situation that she didn’t know how to handle. But she couldn’t bring herself to tell Finn. She could barely look at him—what must he think of her? She was humiliated and betrayed and lost.

But she could change all that. She could begin again someplace new. Somewhere she could just hide out, remove herself from the lies and the stories and the torture. She could just disappear.

Once on top of the rock, she stood and looked out over the horizon. She rocked back and forth on her feet, assessing the distance from where she stood to the sharp and jagged rocks below. It was a good ten to fifteen feet into the angry swell below her. She resisted the temptation to dive in and cleanse her grimy clothes, allow the salt water to lick her wounds and melt away all the signs of the terrible night. Even though Cordelia was an expert swimmer, the tide was rough and she could easily be thrown back against the rocks, knocking her unconscious and drowning her as dawn broke over the harbor. In that eerie half-light between day and night, Cordelia considered her fate for just a moment. It would be so easy just to take one step forward and let all of the pain and betrayal stay behind her forever, wipe it all into oblivion.

She delicately raised one leg in front of her, pointing her toe in an arabesque pose. Teetering for a moment, Cordelia felt the thrill rush through her body as she considered what it would be like to just let everything drop away: all the pain, all the confusion, all the heartbreak. She would be with her father—her real father, the one who raised her and who died too early, not the biological father that she had only just learned about, Malcolm Crane, the man who made Cordelia and Maddie sisters by cheating on his wife, Abigail, with her own sister—Cordelia’s mother. She could be lulled into an everlasting sleep underneath the gentle waves and wouldn’t have to deal with the betrayal by Maddie, by Abigail, or—more importantly—by her own mother, Rebecca. Cordelia closed her eyes and imagined the salty waves reaching up to her and caressing her skin, pulling at the strands of her hair, coaxing her forward. She started to hum as her body swayed back and forth, keeping time with the rhythmic lapping of the waves. It would be so easy, she thought again. Who would really care?

Just as she started to sway forward, a large gust of wind knocked her off balance, sending her tumbling into the wide fissures of the craggy rock. The pain that shot up her back and down her legs woke her from the dreamlike trance she’d been in. Horrified at how close she was to doing something tragic, Cordelia scurried down the rock, away from the dangerous whispers of the sea—the calls that tried to lure her into an everlasting swim.

She had to leave this moment. She could almost hear Tess—her wise and thoughtful grandmother—whispering in her ear that it was time for her to go. She was desperate to say good-bye to the old woman whom she’d grown to love so much in her short time in this town, but she knew that if she stayed, she might be unable to resist the temptation to let it all slip away.

BOOK: The Lost Sister
11.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

In Place of Never by Julie Anne Lindsey
The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli
Deadly Obsession by Kris Norris
Softail Curves III by D. H. Cameron