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Chris sent Missi a picture of Richie in a hospital bed, looking a little banged up but grinning gamely for the camera.
Missi felt a wave of relief, both that Richie was okay and that her suspicions were unwarranted.
When Missi “liked” his profile, he sent her a message right away and called her that afternoon.
He kept a motorboat docked at a nearby marina, and he’d take Missi and her daughters out for afternoons on the water. Richie mentioned that his cousin Vicki worked for the same airline as Missi. “One day we’ll show up together to some family event and surprise her; it’ll be great.”A few months into their relationship, she missed a shift at work and got fired. He told her that he’d take care of her bills for the next four months, that she should relax and take stock of her life and spend time with the kids.
One day in early August, driven by a feeling she couldn’t quite pinpoint, Missi took a peek at Richie’s wallet.
Inside was a Minnesota state ID with a photograph that was unmistakably Richie’s, but with an entirely different name: Derek Mylan Alldred.
Richie liked to say he didn’t “do drama,” but drama seemed to follow him nonetheless.
It got to feel as if every text from him was an announcement of some new disaster: He had to check his daughter Sarah into rehab; he had to put his beloved shih tzu, Thumper, to sleep.