When do we first become aware of the need to be pleasing? To be grateful it wasn’t worse, to hold still and smile?

Mary Milstead
Jul 9, 2019 · 16 min read
Illustrations by Syan Rose

It was four o’clock in the morning when my mother and her kidnapper reached the intersection of Highway 620 and Ranch Road 2222, where he would finally let her go. Early January, 1972. My mother was not yet my mother; she was nineteen. No light in the sky…