Finding Alana: Chapter 5 Page 1

The title of this chapter says it all. It’s awkward and brave to reveal a truth you’ve protected for so long. And, often, the outcome is shame and guilt.

*Copyright: This material is protected by copyright owned by Meg Farrell, Farrell Writes LLC. 2016

5 Shame

The hardest part of telling Justin is going to be the shame. Unless someone has been through what I’ve been through, they don’t understand the shame and guilt of surviving. The drive to his house is faster than I thought it would be. I had to use the map function on my phone to find it. Turns out his house is in a neighborhood a few miles from ours. I pull in the driveway, and, just like Irma, he steps out onto the porch to greet me. Justin doesn’t stop on the porch, though; he comes to the car, and opens the door for me.

I start to think he’s just chivalrous, but then he nearly pulls me from the car. His embrace is warm and snug. “Come inside, it’s freezing,” he says into the top of my head.

Shaking my head, I mumble into his chest, “It’s not freezing where I am.”

He laughs, releases me, and leads me up the steps to his house. I walk in like a kid exploring. I can’t help but look around like I’ve entered some museum display. It’s a tribute to post-frat, disorganized, modern American male living.

Truly a study in how to survive with a sink full of dishes right up to the cabinet line and clothing piled in lines down the hallways like snow drifts. There are small foot paths that shows someone actually moves around the piles of gross.

Justin doesn’t stop in the common living area he takes me down the laundry-lined hallway all the way to the end.

There are two doors facing each other at the dead end, and double doors at the head of the hallway. I assume, based on most floor plans, this is the unused laundry closet. Justin opens the door on the left, and says proudly, “My room.”

Still in analytical mode, I’m prepared to scrutinize yet more piles of dishes and dirty everything, but I’m more than surprised to see that his room is not only tidy, but immaculate. No dust, shoes are organized in a cubby shelf, hats hang on a rack behind the closet door, and a sweet desk where he has dual monitors setup next to a docked laptop.

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