GENUINE FRAUD meets THE PARENT TRAP.
A good con relies on theatrics and misdirection. Grifter Malayka Simms has mastered both. But switching places with her newly found, wealthy identical twin will push her skills to their limits.
Especially when Malayka’s twin goes missing.
Branches crowd together overhead, russet and gold leaves still clinging to their limbs. The suburbs bleeding into suburbs bleeding into suburbs that make up NoVa press in on all sides. The houses forcing out green spaces are predatory vines leaching life from a tree.
Walking down the side of the road, I’m wiry, jumpy. Today, I finally meet my sister. She’s broken me and made me whole all at once with the truth. Today starts an adventure, a homecoming. A reckoning.
My twin, Malayka, waits at the end of this walk. She was ripped from me seventeen years ago. Over the past few months, she’s revealed herself in secret conversations. Swapped photographs. Carefully planned phone calls.
My parents abandoned my sister and adopted only me. Survivor’s guilt rankles. It’s clawed at me since Malayka told me what my parents did. She deserves a chance at success equal to mine. It’s what’s fair.
Daddy’s endowment gives four years of education to three well-deserving high school seniors every year. Meanwhile, his niece and sister-in-law suffer.
A black Nissan Altima passes and slows before pulling to the side of the road. The passenger side window rolls down as I jog to catch up with the car.
“S.J.” I lean inside. If you can have platonic soulmates? S.J. is mine. His brown eyes turn a touch golden in the dying sunlight. He shakes dreadlocks out of his face.
“What are you doing out here?” S.J. asks.