Lots of people dream about running away and starting over. You likely have at some point. Maybe the Caribbean is calling to you, or Europe, or some dark cave in the middle of nowhere. Rachel Dunleavy isn’t much of a dreamer, though. She’s more of a doer.
It wasn’t really hard to disappear once she set her mind to it. She needed to be practical about things, of course, and think about how to overcome all the obstacles that might get in her way, so that’s exactly what Rachel did.
The first thing Rachel did was log on to a co-worker’s computer and look up ‘how to disappear’. The cops were bound to search Rachel’s hard drive once she was reported missing, and what’s why she chose a co-worker who’d be long retired once Rachel dropped off the face of the earth.
Rachel also knew that she would need money and that she wouldn’t be able to access her bank account or use her credit cards once she took off, so she started withdrawing money here and there until she had enough to carry her over for a few months.
She would require a new identity as well. She found someone on the net who was willing to help her with that for the right price. His company also offered to act as a job reference once she was ready to start looking for a new job. He also gave her doctored up license plates because he knew that the cops would be looking for her car.
Rachel then made sure to leave her apartment in tact. She didn’t take so much as a pair of underwear from her dresser. She had bought a whole new set, along with a few outfits before she left and then hid them away in her car.
There would be a few people who would be upset once they hadn’t seen her for a few days, but those were the people from whom she most wanted to get away. The demanding co-workers, the needy friends, the free loading relatives – they’d miss having the one person they used and abused over and over again.
On April 21, 2010 Rachel Dunleavy disappeared for good. She left at 7:50 a.m., the time she usually departed for work so the neighbours wouldn’t have anything weird to report once the cops asked. She had a full tank of gas in her car and two jerry cans worth in the trunk. She also had a good supply of non-perishable food and willingly reduced herself to wearing an adult diaper; thus eliminating the risk of being spotted on camera had she been forced to stop somewhere early in her journey. By the time someone filed a missing person’s report and authorities followed up, she was well into the next province. No one there ever heard about the small town banker who had gone missing.
She had thought about being upfront with everyone beforehand and saying, “Look, I’m unhappy with my life the way it is so I’m going away to start anew,” but then they would have looked for her, tracked her down, and made her life miserable all over again. It was better for those annoying bastards to think that she was dead. If there was any justice in this world, they would feel guilty for the way they had treated her when they had been lucky enough to know her.
In a way, Rachel did die that day. Once she left town, she became a whole other person and started operating under a whole new set of rules – her own. Her only regret was that she hadn’t done it sooner.