Katie ran straight home to tell her mother what she had seen. She couldn’t believe it, but after seeing it for a second time, she was sure that it belonged to her friend, Carly.
But Katie’s mother, Susan, wasn’t convinced. Carly had been missing for two years, and the police had already closed the case. Surely Katie had seen something else.
It was back to school in the Sullivan household, and Katie was dreading having to face another school year without her best friend, Carly.
They met in middle school and have been best friends ever since. Now she was starting high school, and Carly was not there by her side. It would be two years since her friend Carly Nielson was reported missing.
Katie could remember the day like it was yesterday. The two friends were hanging out in their usual spot in the park when Carly received an unexpected message.
She said that a friend of her mom had messaged her to say that her mom was taken to the hospital for an emergency. Carly began panicking and requested an Uber to take her to the hospital.
The Last Time
However, Katie wasn’t happy about her taking an Uber all by herself. She became very worried. But then Carly said that she didn’t have to worry anymore because her mother’s friend would be picking her up at the park in a few minutes.
Katie breathed a sigh of relief. She gave Carly a hug, and that was the last time she saw her.
When Carly didn’t send her a message to say that she had arrived safely at the hospital, Katie became concerned. She phoned Carly multiple times, but her phone had been switched off.
She wondered if it was because she was in a hospital ward with her mother. Sometimes, they wanted visitors’ phones to be turned off. But Katie would soon learn the horrible truth about her friend.
When she eventually got home, she informed her mother about Carly’s mom, who had ended up in the hospital. But Katie’s mom, Susan, was skeptical.
“Are you sure? I was just on the phone with her a few minutes ago. She seemed fine to me.” Katie’s mom and Carly’s mom were also best friends. That’s when Katie got a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Katie quickly rushed up to her room to log in to her various social media accounts on her phone. But Carly was not online.
This was strange because Carly was always online, sending Katie anything and everything she had just come across on the net. Panic was now setting in, she didn’t know what to do.
The Phone Call
Katie decided to leave it for another few hours. Maybe Carly just needed some alone time with her mother. But was her mother really in the hospital?
When the clock struck 6 pm, and they were having dinner, Susan’s phone rang. All Katie could hear her mother say was, “Calm down, sweetie. I’m sure she’s with another friend somewhere.”
That’s when Katie knew that her friend was in serious danger. “Katie, Carly’s mom wants to know when and where you last saw Carly. She can’t get hold of her.”
Before Katie could say anything, she burst into tears. She knew that something bad had happened, and she didn’t do anything to stop it. Her best friend was missing.
We Were In The Park
“Mom, we were in the park, and Carly got a phone call from someone saying that her mom was in the hospital, and then her mom’s friend came to fetch her at the park to take her to the hospital.”
Susan couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She consoled her daughter and then called Carly’s mom, Cathy, immediately.
The police searched for months for Carly, but there was no trace of her. Katie was questioned, but she didn’t get a glimpse of the person who had picked Carly up.
Carly’s mother was left devastated, and Katie kept blaming herself for not stopping her friend and for not asking more questions about the mystery person picking her up before Carly left.
It was like she had disappeared off the face of the planet. And now, two years later, the case had gone cold. But Katie still had hope. She had not given up and knew her friend was out there somewhere.
So that’s why she became so intrigued when she saw something vaguely familiar. She was sitting in her biology class when she looked up and saw it.
Katie’s heart raced as she stared at the object on the teacher’s desk. It was a small, silver locket with an intricate design. The same locket Carly used to wear every day. How could that be possible? Was it just a coincidence, or was there something more to this?
Trying to steady her shaking hands, Katie raised her voice, “Um, excuse me, Mr. Culver, where did you get that locket?”
Lost And Found
The entire class turned to look at her, including Mr. Culver, who seemed surprised by the question. “Oh, this? It was found in the school’s lost and found box. Nobody claimed it, so I thought I’d keep it here in case the owner shows up.”
Katie’s mind raced. Could it really be Carly’s locket? She had to be sure. “May I see it, please?” she asked, her voice quivering.
Can I Keep It?
“Sure.” Mr. Culver handed her the locket, and as Katie held it in her hand, a rush of memories flooded back. She remembered the countless times Carly had opened the locket to show her the tiny photo of her mother inside. This was definitely Carly’s locket, no doubt about it.
“Um, Mr. Culver. Do you mind if I keep this, please?” Katie asked. “Sorry, Katie. I can’t let you keep that if it doesn’t belong to you. I’m supposed to ask students about it, but I just haven’t had the time.”
Katie reluctantly returned the locket to Mr. Culver. Her heart pounded in her chest. She had to find out how this locket ended up in the school’s lost and found. She needed answers, closure, and, most importantly, she needed to find Carly.
There was no doubt in her mind now that Carly was still alive.
On A Mission
Over the next few days, Katie embarked on a mission. She started talking to anyone who might have information about the locket or Carly’s disappearance. She questioned teachers, students, and even pored over school records, desperate for a lead.
Was she even looking in the correct places? She didn’t know if the school would hold the answers she sought about her friend.
As she delved deeper, Katie discovered that there were rumors circulating about Carly’s disappearance. Some said she had run away, while others believed she had been kidnapped. Katie’s determination grew stronger with each passing day, and she was determined to uncover the truth.
In her heart of hearts, she knew that Carly didn’t run away from home. She loved her mom too much to leave her.
A Nagging Feeling
But there was something still nagging her about that locket. Why hadn’t the police come to search the school for any clues as well?
She didn’t remember ever seeing police at the school questioning the teachers, the principal, or the students. She felt like they didn’t do a good enough job in searching for her, and now the case was cold.
Despite her frustration and the growing sense of urgency, Katie knew she couldn’t take matters into her own hands.
She needed to involve the authorities, even if they hadn’t been as thorough as she believed they should have been. With a newfound determination, she decided to visit the local police station after school one day.
Walking into the station, Katie felt a mixture of anxiety and hope. She approached the front desk, where a stern-looking officer was sitting. “Excuse me, officer,” she began, her voice shaky but resolute. “I’d like to report some new information about Carly Nielson’s case.”
The officer glanced up from his paperwork, a hint of annoyance in his eyes.
“Carly’s case, huh? Look, we’ve done all we can on that one. If you have any real leads, you should have brought them forward when it happened.”
Katie’s heart sank, but she refused to back down. “I understand, but I’ve found something related to the case that might be important. Please, just hear me out.”
His Demeanor Shifted
The officer sighed, clearly reluctant, but motioned for Katie to continue. She explained about the locket she had seen at school, the same locket that had belonged to Carly. The officer’s demeanor shifted slightly, and he scribbled some notes as Katie spoke.
Maybe he could take the locket in and examine it to see if there was anything that could lead them somewhere.
Don’t Get Your Hopes Up
After she finished, the officer leaned back in his chair. “Alright, we’ll look into it. But don’t get your hopes up. Missing person cases can be complex, and sometimes small details don’t lead to anything substantial.”
Katie nodded, grateful that he had at least agreed to investigate. As she left the police station, a renewed sense of purpose filled her.
She knew she couldn’t do this alone, and if the police were finally willing to take another look, perhaps there was a chance of finding Carly.
Days turned into weeks, and Katie anxiously awaited any updates from the police. She continued her own investigation, speaking to classmates, teachers, and anyone who might have seen or heard something related to Carly’s disappearance.
A Mysterious Message
The more she dug, the more she realized that there were inconsistencies and gaps in the initial investigation.
Then, one evening, as Katie was scrolling through her social media feed, a message popped up from a username she didn’t recognize. “Meet me at the park where Carly was last seen,” the message read. Katie’s heart raced. Could this be a trap? Or was it a genuine lead?
Who was this person, and how did they know who she is? Katie became terrified. What if it was the same person who had taken Carly?
It could be that this person was trying to lure her into their trap and take her as well. Katie’s felt a pang of fear, but she also felt very intrigued. Maybe this person could lead her to Carly.
Taking A Risk
Torn between caution and hope, Katie decided to take the risk. She informed her mother that she was going out but didn’t reveal the purpose of her outing. With her pulse pounding in her ears, she made her way to the park, her senses on high alert.
As she arrived at the park, Katie looked around nervously. She saw no one at first, but then a figure emerged from the shadows.
I Know What Happened
It was a person wearing a hoodie, their face obscured. Katie’s heart raced as the figure approached.
“Katie,” a muffled voice said, sending shivers down her spine. “I know what happened to Carly.”
Katie’s breath caught in her throat. “Who are you? How do you know about Carly?”
What the person said next would leave her with more questions than answers.
Right Under Your Nose
“You don’t have to look far for more clues. It’s right under your nose. I can’t say much but start with the person who had the locket in the first place.”
With that, the person walked away. Katie didn’t know what to think, but if the person meant that she had to look into Mr. Culver’s movements, she didn’t even know where to begin.
Disclaimer: In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.