Winters in Texas were so much different than what I was used to in New York.
The world was a completely different place now, but weather never changed.
Morgan was getting ready for school, her hair was past her shoulders now, and a dark sandy blonde color.
She was in 8th grade now and 13yrs old, and her mom had just started letting her wear makeup.
She'd woken up an hour earlier than normal today, however because she wasn't going to do her typical brown eyeshadow and mascara routine that her mother preferred.
No, today she was busting out all the makeup she'd bought over the weekend at her friends house. Her mom had no idea she even had sparkly black eye shadow or liquid eyeliner.
However when she emerged from her room at 7:30 with a full face caked in makeup, fully expecting a scolding, her house was empty.
Morgan typically rode the bus, and so an empty house was usually something Morgan rejoiced.
But today she only felt terror.
As she left the house to walk to her bus stop, the only thing on her mind was the slender, dark, quiet boy who had moved to her town and started school with her the day before.
I worried for my little girl, because I knew what this boy was, I knew what he was capable of, and this was the month I'd been dreading since picking up Morgan's file in 1998.