Now I Found You
by Mila Oliver
Publication date: July 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Seven years ago, Kate Hartfield’s little sister disappeared.
An ordinary summer day of fun at the lake turned into a nightmare when young Emily Hartfield suddenly could not be found. When badly battered body parts were discovered three days later, the investigation concluded that they were Emily’s and the case was closed as an accidental drowning.
Now Kate has returned to her hometown in the Catskills for the first time since her sister’s death, for a work retreat. While at her boss’s lake house, she briefly spies a familiar face.
She’s all grown up, but Kate knows her sister’s face better than anyone. The sighting reignites the doubts Kate has always had, and forces her to revisit all the mysterious circumstances that surrounded that day. As she desperately tries to track down the girl she saw at the lake house, Kate discovers shocking secrets from the past, confronts her own guilt from that day, and becomes obsessed with uncovering the answer to one question.
What really happened to Emily?
Back at her apartment, Kate peeled off her clothes and threw them in a corner before crawling into her twin sized bed. She stared up at the ceiling, her eyes painting it with lush green trees and soft wood trails. It had been six years since she left, but she could still smell the clean mountain air. She could still feel the leaves slapping against her arms as she and her cross-country team ran through the woods. She could still hear the soft fireflies zipping through the quiet of the night, and taste the fresh raindrops that would fall softly onto her face. And she could still see her little sister, in her bright yellow swimsuit, smiling at her from the shallow end of the lake, her face partially blocked by the blinding glow of the setting sun.
Kate remembered the first time her memory of Emily had started to fade a little. It was a little over two years after Emily died. Up until then, every detail of Emily always lingered at the periphery of her brain. She didn’t even need to conjure it up, it was just always there. Every freckle on her face, the sparkle of her bright blue eyes, the softness of her lush blond hair. The smell of the vanilla sugar body splash she wore every day.
But then suddenly, on an otherwise ordinary day, Kate woke up and, for a few seconds, Emily’s face was fuzzy. Her memory did not have its usual depth and clarity. Kate had trouble feeling Emily’s silky hair through her fingers.
The memories returned in full force a few moments later, but the shock of it had engulfed her like a tidal wave, pulling her down into a deep depression. It was the first time Kate realized that her memories of Emily would not always be as strong and clear as they originally were. That over time memories would take a new form. They would become more like looking back at old photographs or home movies, rather than the very real feeling of Emily standing right there in front of her.
Kate reached for the small container on her nightstand and shook out two pills. Every so often, she found that alcohol was not enough to blur her memories and lull her peacefully to sleep. The pills snagged against the back of her throat as she swallowed them dry and waited listlessly for darkness to fall.
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