Jessa Whitworth knew she didn't belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb's room. But she couldn't deny that she was everywherein his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.
His mother asked her to pack up his thingseven though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb's life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.
Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb's accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
Praise for Megan Miranda's All the Missing Girls:
"This thriller's all of your fav page-turners (think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl) rolled into one." TheSkimm
"Fast-paced and frightening." Refinery29
"[The] perfect read for thriller fans." Bustle
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There’s no light in the narrow stairway to the third floor. There’s no handrail, either. Just wooden steps and plaster walls that were probably added in an attic renovation long ago. The door above remains shut, but there’s a sliver of light that escapes through the bottom, coming from inside. He must’ve left the window uncovered.
The door looks darker than the walls of the stairway, but it’s hard to tell from this angle, without light, that it’s blue. We painted it during the summer from a half-empty can he’d found in the garage, a color called Rustic Sea.
“A complicated color for a complicated door,” he joked. But it turned out to look more like denim than anything else.
He stepped back after applying the first stroke, wrinkled his nose, wiped the back of his hand against his forehead. “My feelings on this color are also very complicated.”
There was a smudge of Rustic Sea over his left eye. “I love it,” I said.
I reach for the door now, and I can almost smell the fresh paint, feel the summer breeze coming in from the open window to help air it out. We painted it all the way around—front and back and sides—and sometimes, the door still sticks when you pull it open. Like the paint dried too thick, too slowly.
There’s a speck of paint on the silver doorknob that I’ve never noticed before, and it makes me pause. I run my thumb over the roughness of the spot, wondering how I missed this.
I take a slow breath, trying to remember the room before I see it, to prepare.
It’s got four walls, a closet, slanting ceilings before they meet at a flat strip overtop. There’s a fan hanging from the middle of that strip, the kind that rattles when it’s set to the highest speed. Shelves built into the walls on both sides, giving way to a sliding closet door on my left. A single window, on the far wall.
There’s a bed, with a green comforter.
A desk to my right, with a computer monitor on the surface, the tower hidden below.
The walls are gray and the carpet is . . . the carpet is brown. I think. I’m no longer sure. The color blurs and shifts in my mind.
It’s just a room. Any room. Four walls and a ceiling and a fan.
This is what I tell myself before I step inside. This is the whisper I hear in my head as I stand with my hand on the knob, waiting on the top step.
For a moment, I think I hear his footsteps on the other side of the door, but I know this isn’t possible. I picture us sitting across from each other on the floor. My legs, angled between his.
He leans closer. He’s smiling.
Then I remember: the carpet is beige. The door will squeak as I push it open. The air will be hotter or colder than the rest of the house, depending on the time of year.
All these things I know by heart.
None of this prepares me.
Excerpted from "Fragments of the Lost"
Copyright © 2019 Megan Miranda.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Children's Books.
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