You can call me Brandon Smith. Is it my real name? No. Though it was the name on my passport, and it serves its purpose. Lost the real one the day I lost everything.
I work for the Cloverleaf Corporation as a private accountant. Well, I use to anyway. I committed a dozen white collar crimes and helped keep crooks on the street. One day, those same crooks thought I was too much of a loose end. You know, when you worked for criminals then doing a good job is a clear sign of a lack of integrity.
They tried to kill me, no surprise; but they ended up getting my wife and my father instead; that one hurt. I had expected Cloverleaf to come after me, Maggie and Dad were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, I got off the grid with the kids before they could finish the job. Already had money stashed away, burner phones, birth certificates, and passports; the whole works. Nothing to trace me and the kids. I could have been home free. I should have been home free.
Then I met Samantha Dahl. How I met her, your guess is as good as mine just another thing that I seemed to have lost along the way. One minute, I was getting the youngest out of the car seat, the next, I was mid-lecture at Starbucks in the BWI airport. She explained that Cloverleaf wouldn’t be looking for me, as long as I avoid drawing too much attention, that my two girls would be safe, and now I worked for her. That was the deal.
Why I’d trust a woman I just met is one for the ages, so I protested; as you do.
Sam said my kids would be safest with her, and she couldn’t just give two little girls to a man that doesn’t even know their names. I knew she was crazy because what kind of father doesn’t remember their kid's name. Right. This guy.
I had those passports made and even been saying those names to get comfortable with them. No matter how hard I tried to remember, the names eluded me. I’m good at finding things that wanted to stay hidden. Excellent in fact. But the two most precious people left in this world were gone, fake passports and all. Like they never existed. I know they existed. I have to believe they existed. There are too many fragmented memories of my girls; too much pain from losing them.
The saddest part of this whole deal? At this point, I’m not sure that I work for Samantha because that’s the only way to keep my daughters safe, or because it lets me continue to believe they existed in the first place.
I decide to write this character's background in the first person. I love to read stories with unreliable narration, but I'm not good at that sort of thing. This year, I want to make a concerted effort to write more. In the past, I let my desire to avoid the perception of being incompetent to overwhelm my desire to get better at writing.