A blur.That's what everything was to Sophie, from the time she had talked to Mrs.Nora, til now. She sat in the corner of her living room, practically numb. "What do you mean you can't put out an Amber Alert yet? I don't care if it hasn't been forty-eight hours, she's my daughter!" Mr.Webb yelled at the police officer. Mr.Webb was intimidatingly tall, He had the same almost back hair Olivia and Ian shared. Even though Mr.Webb could be frightening at time, deep down he was a very gentle man. Sophie looked toward her left and saw Mrs.Nora and Ian in the kitchen, Mrs.Nora sobbing with her head on Ian's shoulder. Sophie had never seen Mrs.Nora cry before. She started to look away, ashamed to be witness to such a personal thing, but she stopped when she heard Ian trying to console his mother. "Shh it's okay Mom, she'll be fine. We just gotta have faith" he said. Sophie cradled her head in her hands, hoping to escape her surroundings. Wishing to wake up and this all be a terrible nightmare. How could she let Olivia talk her into this? Why didn't she just say no? Sophie had always been the practical one, the logical one. Why did she choose now to stop?
When she lifted her head from the security of her hands she saw Ian in front of her, his arms folded. "You okay?" he asked. Sophie was a little shocked to hear him ask if she was okay, after all it was his sister, not her's, that was missing. "Um, yeah, I'm fine. What about you?" she asked as he pulled a chair from the kitchen and sat down beside her. "Well, I've had better days that's for sure" he replied. They sat in silence for a moment, Sophie unable to even glance at him. Then out of no where he said "Why?". "What do you mean?" she inquired. "What I mean is, why would she do something like this and why would you let her?" he replied. "I don't know" was all Sophie could say. "And to meet a guy of all things! A guy!" he said, his voice slightly rising. "I'm so sorry, I never thought this would happen. I wish I could go back" she said, trying not to burst into tears. Ian must have noticed because he stood up rather quickly after that, muttering something about having to help his mom.
Sophie dabbed at her eyes. She just then noticed that the police were gone. She got up from her chair and walked over to the stairs. Before she walked up the stairs she peered into the dining room. Mrs.Nora sat at the head of the table, Ian to her right. Mrs.Nora finally realized that Sophie was there and gave her a stare so cold she could feel a chill in the air. And then Sophie assented the stairs. Once she was in her room she grabbed her phone and gently sat on her bed. She dialed the number, and waited for an answer. "Hey Mom! Could you and dad come home?"
A hour later. Sophie's parents were on their way home. Mrs.Nora and Ian were still there. Mr.Webb was with the police trying to get them to let him file a missing person's report. Sophie crept down the stairs. She scanned the living room. No one in there. Then she turned toward the dining room, and was surprised to find Mrs.Nora and Ian exactly as they were a hour ago. She cautiously walked into the dining room. "Are y'all hungry? I could make some sandwiches and soup" Sophie said, breaking the gnawing silence. For a minute they just stared at Sophie. "Um yeah, thanks!" Ian finally said. "What about you Mom?" Ian asked Mrs.Nora. "I'm not hungry" she replied, barely audible. Sophie nodded and strolled into the kitchen. "You need any help?" Ian asked Sophie. "Sure, thank you" she replied, not sure what to make of it. Sophie opened the refrigerator. "Turkey or ham?" she asked. "Ham" he told her She took the ham, cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard and sat it all on the counter. Then she went to the pantry to get the bread and soup. "Tomato soup or chicken noodle? Wheat or white?" she asked him. "Tomato and white" he answered. Mrs.Nora came in the kitchen then. "Ian, I'm gonna go down to the police station and see if your dad's making any progress" Mrs.Nora announced. "You sure you don't want a sandwich for the road" Sophie inquired. "No. Thank you though" Mrs.Nora replied. Mrs.Nora walked over to Ian and hugged him tightly, as if she expected him evaporate before her very eyes. "I love you" she said as she pulled away from him. "I love you too Mom" he replied. Mrs.Nora smiled weakly at her son and then proceeded for the front door. Sophie was practically holding her breath until she heard the front door slam.
They prepared the lunch mostly in silence until Ian finally spoke. "You know as much as I want to blame you for all this, I can't" "And why is that?" Sophie questioned, not sure if she was startled by what he said, or by the fact that he had said anything at all. "Because as much as I love my sister I know how easily she can talk people into things" Ian explained. Sophie licked her lips and went back to stirring the soup, Ian making the sandwiches. "Do you remember all that messed up stuff she used to talk us into?" Ian said, more so reminiscing than asking. "How could I forget! She once dared me to eat ten live worms" she replied, as she sat her spoon down and turned to face him. "Didn't you throw those up?" he asked, stroking his chin. "Nope! I swallowed all ten. I wanted so badly to prove to her that I wasn't scared. Maybe that's why I agreed to cover for her" she said. As soon as she had said that she wished she hadn't. "I want you to know that I will do anything in my power to find her" she assured him. "Thank you, I appreciate that" he replied. "Maybe we could form a search party" she suggested helpfully. "I don't think that's such a good idea" he said. "Why?" she asked, puzzled. "Because unlike me my mom does blame you" he answered bluntly. "Oh, oh I see" she replied, acutely embarrassed. "Sophie, you have to understand" he said grasping for her hand as she turned back to stir the soup. "No, no, I do understand. What I did. What I did was stupid beyond measure, and I can't take it back" she practically yelled at him. He gingerly let go of her hand. She couldn't believe she had just yelled at him. It wasn't like she hadn't ever yelled at him prior. In fact she was constantly yelling at him when they were younger. It was just her yelling at him in the midst of all this that shocked her, and maybe even scared her.
Slam. Ian and Sophie rushed to the door. "Mom!" Sophie exclaimed, almost running to hug her mother. "Why was the door unlocked? You know I'm always telling you to remember to lock the door" Mrs.Duvall scolded her. "I'm sorry, I got distracted" Sophie said. "Can someone help me with these bags?" Mr.Duvall said, entering completely loaded down with duffel bags. Sophie hurried to relieve her dad of the numerous bags. "How are you doing?" Mrs.Duvall said, addressing Ian. "I'm okay, thanks for asking" Ian replied with a polite smile. "Listen, Sophie, I really should be going, I'll just grab a sandwich and go home" Ian said heading for the kitchen. "No, stay! I don't want to tell your mother I left you alone" Mrs.Duvall said. "No, really, it's fine. I'm home alone a lot" he explained. "Well this is one time you won't be alone" Mrs.Duvall decided. "Thank you" he said, scratching the back of his head uncomfortably. "So y'all made sandwiches?" Mrs.Duvall inquired. "And soup" Sophie interjected. "Sounds great! I'm starved" Mr.Duvall said. "Why don't y'all go get some food and I'll take your bags up to your room?" Sophie offered. "Thanks pumpkin" Mr.Duvall said with a broad smile.
Sophie picked up a couple of bags and rushed up the stairs. That's how Sophie's parents always reacted to a tragedy. Oblivious. Like nothing had happened. Sure they would probably talk about it to Sophie later. About how careless and stupid it was to cover for Olivia, and to ask if she was alright. But that would be the extent of what they would say. It wasn't that they didn't care, they just felt that it made people sadder to talk about it, and maybe they were right.
Sophie turned back to get the other bags and was startled bu Ian. "Geez" she exclaimed. "Sorry" he apologized. They just stood there for a moment, Sophie biting her lip. "I'm sorry for yelling at you like that, you really don't deserve that" Sophie said, unable to look him in the eye. "Don't worry about it. No one gets what they deserve anyway" he quipped. "So, um, any particular reason you're in my parents' bedroom?" she asked. "Well I thought I'd help with the bags" he explained. She looked down at the bags in his masculine hands. "Oh, thanks. That's really nice of you" she replied. "Yeah, I'm pretty nice" he bragged.
They dropped the bags on her parents' bed. "Sophie" Mr.Duvall called from downstairs. "Yeah Dad?" Sophie called. "Mr.Webb just called. The police want to see you for questioning"