The Highway Part I.
I should mention an important detail now, that my older sister Briony was murdered several years ago. Mum had Briony young. I was (allegedly) a more considered afterthought years later, so by the time I was preparing to try on my first school uniform, Bri was about to discard hers for good. Then, suddenly she was gone from this world. It's surreal to think that she'd now be in her late 30s, maybe married and with kids of her own. My parents weren't exactly big photographers in those early years, but from the meagre snaps that exist, you can see that my sister was a real head turner. When I was in year six I snuck downstairs on a sticky summers evening to eavesdrop on what adults talk about late at night. Dad was up, drinking with his brother. Through a gap in the wooden sliding doors, I spied him slumped down, clutching a photograph capturing a rare moment of my sister and I at a birthday party. Briony radiates a smile, with perfectly straight teeth and a cascade of chestnut hair, arm wrapped protectively around my shoulders. "Plain as an undressed pavlova, that one" I hear him say, obviously meaning me. "Bri on the other hand, that girl was like sunshine.." He chokes up. "If I ever..find that bastard who took her away from us, I'll.." I run back upstairs before someone finds me and gives me a hiding. I lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, the air too stifling to permit sleep. Bri at that point, is starting to become like a fictional character from a TV show in my head. Bits of memories I have of us together are merging with imagination. The murder case, by that point had been long declared unsolved. It's also the last time I heard Dad talk about her.