Seventeen and wasted was supposed to be a hard combination to come-by, but Allie had become an expert at acquiring alcohol. Tonight, she had swiped a half-consumed bottle of Bourbon from the kitchen before hopping into Jillians’s car. A bottle of bourbon on the counter was a common fixture in the Allie and Meredith residence. Tonight, Allie had thrown the cap on and tucked the bottle into her bag. Meredith would just have to open another one.

But she shouldn’t have chugged. She shouldn’t be standing here in line at the hardware store while the Jack Daniels started a fistfight with her bladder.

The man in front of her was buying 20 boxes of nails and loading them onto the conveyor belt one tiny box at a time. Allie jiggled one of her legs, hoping the pain – but not the pee – would trickle down, away from its concentration zone.

Eight boxes down, twelve to go. The man paused. Dug for something in his pocket.

“Excuse me,” Allie said, leaning around the guy. All she needed was the key to the restroom. But he hadn’t heard her. “Excuse me,” she projected past him. The clerk looked up from chipping her nail polish and glared at Allie.

“I just need the restroom key. That’s all,” Allie said. Her cheeks filled with heat.

“You’re supposed to buy something first,” the woman said, but placed the key in Allie’s hand anyways. Allie pivoted, but before her feet could hurry towards relief, the woman said, “Hey.”

Allie turned back to the woman, trying her best fake smile.

“You’re Caleb Mitchell’s daughter, aren’t you?” the woman asked. The man looked up from the conveyor belt. He studied Allie and nodded.

“Yes,” Allie said, turning back in the direction of the restrooms.

“I’m sorry,” the woman said as Allie moved away from the crowd.

Sorry for her loss or sorry for her lineage? They never asked her if she was Dani Mitchell’s daughter; it was always Caleb that they pointed out. Sorry that you’re destined to rot in jail.

This concludes your first sneak peek. For more information on the murder of Allie’s mother, please visit HEARSAYtheBLOG on September 1.


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