“We’ll circle back to the dating life thing.” Michael gave her a knowing look. “Well, this seems specific to your family, so how are things going there?”
Laura and Cassie exchanged looks. Cassie shrugged. “Better? We’re working on it.”
Cassie rolled her eyes, then turned to her sister. “Please tell him dreams don’t mean anything.”
She left out the part where her dreams were often prophetic. Neither one of them needed to know that.
“You’re kidding me.”
“Actually, they can have meaning. Dreams are just your brain’s way of sifting through what’s been on your mind lately. They can help store information. They help with memories, too.”
“Memories.” Michael clapped his hands together. “Okay, maybe it’s related to memories. Now we’re getting somewhere. Did anything happen to you guys when Laura was around five?”
Cassie was about to tell Michael she had no idea when Laura laughed and looked between them like they were crazy.
“What?” Cassie asked.
“Seriously, you don’t remember?”
Michael shrugged and Cassie said, “Remember what?”
“That was about the time Sarah Lennox went missing.”
Cassie dropped her fork, and it clattered against her plate.
“Oh my God, you’re right.” Michael’s voice carried across the outdoor patio, and a few heads turned in their direction. “How could I forget that?”
“Did you say Sarah Lennox?” Cassie asked. It felt like the entire universe had been blotted out except for the three of them. She got tunnel vision as her ears turned hot.
“Yeah, why?” Laura’s eyebrows pinched together. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Cassie swallowed back some bile. “I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately.”
“That could explain your dreams, then.”
“But I don’t remember much about that time. And why would I be dreaming about Laura instead of Sarah?”
Laura shrugged. “No idea. Our brains make weird connections sometimes. Could just be random.”
“Or maybe not.” Michael waggled his eyebrows. “How intriguing.”
Cassie had a sinking feeling Michael was hitting closer to home than her sister. The ghost of the little boy had been the first one to utter Sarah Lennox’s name in close to two decades. She’d first seen him out of the house when Laura had called about her mother’s brain tumor, but that hadn’t been the only time he’d appeared outside her bedroom. Were the other times connected to her sister too? She’d been talking about the dream in her therapy appointment. And he’d shown up in the parking garage when she’d gotten Laura from the airport.
Cassie cleared her throat and tried to be nonchalant. “What do you guys remember from back then?”
“I didn’t know you two yet.” Michael brushed his hair back from his eyes. “But I remember when she went missing because we’d just moved here from Atlanta, and my mom kept saying we should’ve stayed where we were. But I guess I didn’t really understand what missing meant. I just thought she’d gotten lost in the store or something and that they’d find her soon. I didn’t know why my mom was so worked up about it.”
“She wasn’t the first one to go missing,” Cassie said.
“Or the last.” Laura turned to Cassie. “You were pretty good friends with her. I remember her coming over to the house a bunch of times.”
“Oh my God, are you serious?” Michael leaned forward. “Tell me everything. Did they ever figure out what happened to her?”