As she neared the end of her teenage years, on the verge of becoming a woman, Eva had a falling out with her parents. She wept hot, angry tears as she stuffed some belongings into a backpack and stormed out of their home. Theirs—not hers any longer.
Her parents and older brother, Albert, watched her go with no fewer tears. “She knows her way back, and we’ll see her again soon,” they told each other.
But days lengthened into years until Albert told his parents, “I will find Eva and bring her back.”
Albert first tried tracking her down using the Internet, but Eva’s social media accounts had long since gone silent. He sent messages to all of the mutual friends he could, but none of them had heard from her.
Then he found contact information for a childhood friend of Eva’s, and it turned out they had been in some recent contact. Fortunately, this friend was willing to talk with Albert, but she didn’t have much help to offer. But she related what she could remember of her conversation with Eva, which gave Albert enough to take another step.
He followed clue after clue until he found Eva in a halfway house on the other side of the country. The staff had decided they could help her no further, and Albert arrived just in time to save Eva from being turned out to a life on the street.
Eva’s eyes looked dark and sunken. Albert wasn’t sure she recognized him. He wept right there to see how far gone she was—how far from the vibrant person she had once been. But she seemed to sense that he could help her, or at least wanted to, so she went with him. Albert took her back to his home and took upon himself her care.
It would be a long road, but Albert knew Eva well enough to see who she could be.
And he knew that in this condition, Eva would be unable to correct her relationship with their parents. He would help her do that, too.
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