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Fortunately, no one seems to notice the fact that I don’t have a shadow. I only realized it recently, around the time I turned sixteen.
I hate my parents. They’re always working, and throwing parties for their rich friends. They miss my older brother, who is away at college. They don’t seem to care that I, their other son, am home.
They’re having a party tonight. While they’re partying, showing off their new Hi-Def TV and stereo system, I’ll be gone. I need to find my shadow.
That morning, when I was supposed to be at school, I left the large house in which I’ve lived for several years, and headed toward the city. It’s a long walk, so I tried to hitchhike. Car after car flew by, without even a glance in my direction.
I was about to lower my thumb when a brand-new Mercedes Benz slowed and pulled over to the side of the road. The window rolled down, revealing a young woman. She had a small frame with a face so perfect it seemed to have been chiseled from stone by an ingenious artist. She tucked her black hair behind her ear and smiled.
“Where you headed?” she asked. Her voice flowed like liquid gold.
“Wherever you’re headed.”
“I don’t know where I’m headed,” she said, smiling enticingly.
“Perfect.” I opened the door, threw my backpack in and slid onto the leather seat.
“Delayna,” she said, extending her delicate hand. I grasped it, feeling filthy and ugly in the presence of her beauty.
“Nice to meet you.” She shifted the car and pulled onto the road. “So, what’s your story?”
I thought for a moment. “I’m running away, trying to find my…self.”
“My dad bought me this car. It’s brand new,” she said.
“I hate it. He says he bought it for me, but he really bought it for himself.”
“He likes to use it a lot?”
She sighed. “He bought it for me, to appease his conscious, to make up for never being around. He’s a rich lawyer.” She looked at me, gauging my reaction. “We live in a huge mansion. Maids, everything.” She turned back to the road.
“I can relate,” I said, shocked at our similarities.
“I’m running away,” she said quietly, “trying to find myself. You want to join me?”
I couldn’t speak. It was too strange. Too perfect. Nothing in my life had ever worked out so perfectly. I heard myself answer, “Yes.”
“Good. I’m heading across the country, toward California, I suppose.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Guess what?” she asked with a mischievous glint in her icy blue eyes.
“I stole my dad’s ATM card. I’m going to drain his account, buy a new car, dye my hair.”
I tried to process this new information. Did I really want to be a criminal? Is that who I am?
“What do you think about that?” she asked, wryly.
I realized that I had found what I was looking for. She was my dark side, my shadow. “It sounds perfect.”
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