In the six years I spent tracking David Addley, it never occurred to me that he didn’t exist. I had always felt that he was someone close, as he had described my life as well as my thought process almost accurately in his first two novels. My cousin informed me of his first novel, a high school story, and its shocking similarity to my life. My amusement turned into shock, as I read the incidents he had described with precision, except for one event. He had even revealed that I had cheated in my tenth exams (all papers, actually). Mr. Addley had informed his readers that his next novel will be written in the next two years. I could not find any details about him, except that he lived in River Heights. Familiar name, I thought. Of Course, what nonsense! Nancy Drew lived in River Heights. Nancy Drew novels were the only ones I read. My queries at his publishing house revealed that they had never seen the author concerned, but received his drafts through mail. They had paid him via PayPal. The publishers did not reveal further details. I had a strong suspicion that Addley was in fact my cousin, Pauline. I was very close to her and she knew all my secrets (almost all of them). However, she denied my hesitant questioning of her, angrily, and pointed out that it was she who had alerted me to his novels in the first place. I decided to drop the matter. In the next two years, I broke up with my boyfriend and married my boss, Raul, who loved me devotedly. I had a reasonably peaceful life until Mr. Addley came up with his second novel. I got this novel without my cousin’s prompting, all the while praying that this one should be different. I was in tears when I read the bit about my three years in the mental asylum. You see, I suffered from a severe depression when I was in my teens. My depression turned uncontrollable and I was sent to an asylum. I felt humiliated that his novel mocked my pain and overpowering urges that landed me in the asylum. My old aunt who brought me up had passed away five years ago and Pauline, my cousin, was the only one who knew all these happenings. But, Pauline, though short-tempered, was ethical and decent. She was my only relative in this world and the only one who cared for me, apart from Raul. Also, she did not know that Sam broke up with me. She, in fact everyone I knew, thought that I broke up with Sam and married Raul for his money. And I made no efforts to correct their assumptions. This is because I did not want anyone to think that Sam had felt that I was not worthwhile. He said that I was shallow; I lacked pride and ambition. Furthermore, Sam said that I had nothing going for me, except my smile. He was looking for someone who would pull him out of his lethargy and push him towards his goal. But, he congratulated me derisively on my wedding and sneered at me, implying that I was a gold digger. The author had clearly described in his book that I cared a lot for Raul in my subtle way. How did Addley know the truth that even Raul was not sure about? Now, Addley had promised more in his third novel. I went over to my cousin’s place for help, as she was the only one I always turned to in my distress. Pauline said, “Rose, what if he is someone with supernatural powers? I suspect some paranormal activity here.” I refused to consider this idea, as he had written only about my past and not my future and also as I was scared at the very thought of ghosts. Our advertisements and questions in social networking sites yielded no results either. Pauline said that she had an author friend who might just have an idea. We went to meet him in his posh office. A writer who has a posh office? Apparently, he was a full-time lawyer and a part-time writer. He said that he did not know Addley, but would make enquiries and get back to us. I gave him my number. I spent the next couple of days trying to put Mr. David Addley out of my mind while Raul lavished me with surprise gifts on my upcoming birthday. My birthday went on very well, with my friends in office throwing me a surprise party. Raul (he was still my boss) said that he would start early with me so that we can celebrate with a dinner in my favourite restaurant. I heard his car start and I was just about to shut down my computer when my cell phone rang. It was the lawyer-writer whom my cousin and I had contacted a few days ago. “Rose? I have finally found out the real name of your friend, Addley.” “Who is it?” “His name is R.R.Pearson. Raul Richmond Pearson.. He is……” My mind went blank, as I looked down at my husband. He smiled in a lopsided manner. It was not Raul’s smile. Where had I seen that smile before? It was R.R., my classmate from high school. He and I had collaborated with each other to cheat during our exams. After being caught, I had outed him to my class teacher and principal as the mastermind behind the cheating. I was left with a warning, (I am not sure why) but R.R. was dismissed from school. After this incident, I did not know what happened to him. Though my cheating was mentioned in the novel, R.R’s involvement and dismissal were the missing parts. So, was this his idea of revenge after all these years? My head began to pound, as I felt a deepening sense of fear and strange excitement. I wanted to get away from everyone. Leaving my handbag and cell phone behind, I stumbled towards the staircase.