from: "Condry, Mark"
date: Sunday, September 12, 2004 5:10 PM
subject: a plan

Eric,

Haven’t heard from you. Just writing to let you know I’ve had a day to put some distance from the whole thing, and I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to drive down to Houston and see if I can find someone in Andrew’s family. I once rode with Travis to pick Drew up. I think I know where his mom used to live. From there maybe I can find stepdad, and the house. I’ve tried the Boise lead already. I called the cops and got more questions than answers, and now some Lt. Perez plans to call me back in case he needs more “testimony” from me. Like I know anything. Apparently Andrew was living alone in a rental up there, working at a Blockbuster Video. That’s about all I got from the cops. And Idaho. So I’m aiming for Houston.

Even driving my own car, and a cheap-o motel, it’s still going to cost me about $200 for the trip. Jenny is worried about me, she’d rather I stay and pretend the police will figure this out on their own. But I have to go down there, Eric. Here’s why:

I think Andrew was afraid of that house for a reason. Whatever that reason was, during those ten nights, something emptied him. Gutted Andrew like a fish. It yanked out whatever he was inside, or shocked him into forgetting it all away. He was hollowed out.

To fill the void, he absorbed any input he could find. Television, radio, conversation. Soaked it up and presented it as Andrew. He could walk and talk, and he wasn’t injured, not physically. But he wasn’t the same, either.

There’s a gap I need to fill, in my head, like the time in that house. I have these pieces of Andrew that don’t match. I need something to match. Hell, I’ll feel better if something will just make sense.

I won’t ask you to fly down and join me, but I could use your help all the same. I have some questions you might be able to answer. Please call me or send me a note if you know any of these.
My phone is [removed – Eric].

- What was the stepfather’s name? First or last?
- What was his mom’s name? Was her last name also Hughes?
- What was the name of the subdivision where stepdad’s house was? I think Andrew mentioned it.

I hope I haven’t freaked you out too much with my crazy talk. I know it probably comes off sounding absurd, some of it. Or maybe not. You were there for some of this. If you really think I’m off my noggin, tell me. By all means, tell me.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Mark