It was late Monday afternoon and as usual Sophie and Carson were the first students at the studio. Carson had gotten a ride from Sophie so they could talk. "Then his parents showed up!" Carson told her while they waited in the car. "Did they see you? Did you see them?" Sophie inquired anticipating her response. "No, they didn't see me, and I didn't see them" Carson replied. "Well that's good" Sophie said, trying to think positively. "But I did hear them" Carson added. "What did they sound like?" asked Sophie. "Southern, very southern" Carson said. "Southern how? Like southern backwoods or southern money?" Sophie questioned further. "Is there a difference?" questioned Carson. "Yes, yes there is" replied Sophie, tucking her hair behind her ear. "Well I still don't know which they sound like" Carson replied.
Just as Sophie was about to speak Meredith ran up to the car and tapped on Sophie's window. Sophie rolled down her window. "Hey, can I come in?" Meredith asked. "Sure!" Sophie said. Sophie rolled up her window and unlocked the doors. Meredith threw her purse down on the seat beside her. "So do they have any more clues about Olivia?" Meredith inquired. "Nothing they're telling us about" answered Carson. "So you really think they're not telling us everything?" Sophie mused. "Honestly, I don't believe they're even telling Olivia's family all that they know" Carson replied. "Have they brought you in for more questioning?" Meredith asked Sophie. "No, not since Saturday" Sophie replied as she cracked her neck from side to side. "I just can't even begin to grasp this all, it's just too surreal. I keep thinking it's a terrible nightmare, but of course that isn't the case" Sophie said looking from Carson to Meredith and back again. "Hey for all we know it's just another one of her little pranks, and she'll show up in a couple of days" Meredith said, while she gently rubbed Sophie's shoulder. "I've been praying it's just that, I've been hoping it's just that, I've been telling myself it's just that" Sophie replied, pushing her hair back slowly. "I wonder who else they questioned" Carson pondered as she turned around in her seat so that her back was facing the windshield. "Her parents, Ian, the neighbors, that's all the people I know of" Sophie answered. "Oh how did the dress fitting go Saturday?" Carson inquired. "Can you say 'I hate my step-sister'?" Meredith sarcastically replied. "What did you expect? She's Bianca after all" Sophie reminded her. "Oh she was way worse! When we told her the theme of the wedding you know what she said?" said Meredith. "What?" Carson asked with a leery expression. "Why is it the 20s when your mom is clearly in her 40s?" Meredith answered in an obnoxiously girly voice. "Ouch! Tre' harsh!" Sophie exclaimed. "Was she trying to be mean or did she actually not get it?" questioned Carson "A little of both I think" Meredith said, knitting her eyebrows together.
Sophie glanced out the window. She noticed that a few other cars were there already, including Mrs.Emma's and Mrs.Nora's. "We should probably go in now" Sophie said, more to herself than to Carson and Meredith. Sophie slowly turned her car off as Carson and Meredith climbed out, slamming the doors shut. They strided toward the studio door. When they were all inside everyone in the lobby quickly snapped their heads in their direction, staring at Sophie. All three girls feebly sat down on the bench closest to the door. The whispering hum returned to the room. Sophie, Meredith, and Carson sat silent on the bench for what seemed liked centuries. Sophie spotted her mom. She smiled, meekly.
Then finally Mrs.Emma, Mrs.Nora, Mrs.Hamilton, and Mr.Lars appeared from the office. Ian and Mr.Webb were there as well. "First of all I want to thank you all for coming tonight, you don't know what it means to me and my family" Mrs.Nora struggled to utter. Mr.Webb protectively draped his arm around her. "I know you were suppose to have classes tonight but I decided that the important thing right now is to bring Olivia home" Mrs.Emma said. "We're gonna be looking over near York park. We have several parents who have volunteered as chaperones. Y'all will be paired up with a chaperone in groups of four" Mr.Webb explained. "When I call your name I'll tell you who your chaperone is, you walk to me and I'll hand you a flashlight" Mrs.Hamilton added.
Mrs. Hamilton started calling names. First As, then the Bs, the Cs, and then the Ds. "Sophie Duvall" Sophie stood like a spring, she walked to Mrs.Hamilton. "You go with Mrs. Nora" she heard her say. She took the flashlight from her hand gently. She was a little suspicious as to why she was paired with Mrs.Nora. It didn't make any sense. Why would she want to chaperone a girl whom she blamed for her daughter's disappearance?
Before she knew it all the names had been called and she was in the car with Mrs.Nora. The others in the group were Cassie, Natalie, and Ian. The ride was mostly silent except for when Natalie would say how sorry she was about Olivia. Which Sophie knew to be a lie, seeing as Natalie didn't feel sorry about anything Especially anything relating to Olivia. It was truly unbelievable how Natalie could still shamelessly flirt with Ian in the wake of all this. Even Cassie, who would do just about anything to get Ian's attention rolled her eyes at Natalie. Ian hardly even glanced at Natalie which made her flirt even more.
Finally Mrs.Nora stopped the car on the north side of York park. They all scurried out. "Okay, Natalie and Cassie, y'all will go over there" Mrs.Nora instructed, pointing to the left. "Sophie and Ian go there" she said, pointing to the right. "And I'll go there. If you need me, shout!" she said, pointing directly a head. They all scattered to their designated places, flashlights in hand. "Ian?" Sophie said, making sure she had his full attention. "Yes?" he responded, in anticipation. "Why are we looking in the woods for Olivia if she's just a missing person?" she continued. "You probably don't know this but Olivia used to come here a lot, the only reason I know about it was because I followed her one time" he explained. "Did she know you knew?" she asked as she struggled to keep her balance in the leaves. "Yeah, yeah she did. I confronted her once she got her. You see she had told our parents for a few weeks that she was going to the hospital to volunteer, said it would look good on college applications. I stopped by the hospital one day to bring her lunch, but when I got there she wasn't there, they said they didn't have any volunteers by the name of Olivia Webb. The next day I followed her to the park" he told her. "And what did you find out?" she questioned, slightly nervous. "Well she had" that was all he could say before they heard a heart stopping scream. They all rushed to Mrs.Nora. A silence fell upon them when they saw Mrs.Nora lying on the ground clinging to a bloodstained shirt. Olivia's shirt.