Astray, Nina Allan
It is easy to fall into paranoia. All it takes is a tiny seed – opening an envelope that isn’t addressed to you, for instance. I googled Selena Rouane because I was curious, and because I still had the computer on from looking up her street address. It was an offhand, perfunctory gesture, one I fully expected to be met with a barrage of irrelevant results, as had happened when I googled Lucy Davis. What I found instead was a missing girl. Amanda Rouane turned out to be Selena’s sister. She went missing in the summer of 1994, when she was seventeen. Which made her the same age as me. In 1994 I had been in Cyprus, studying for my A Levels and secretly getting anxious about applying to universities and, for the first time in my life, not having the security of my insecure army-kid background to fall back on. If I hated the people in my hall of residence I would have to deal with it, because I was going to be stuck with them. I didn’t read the British press much, or any press come to that, certainly not enough to have come across a story about a girl going missing from a village near Manchester. I’d never even been to Manchester, not then.