"This is it??" Mommy sobbed, clutching onto Daddy’s shoulder. "This is all you found??"

I watched from the staircase. Mommy was in tears. Daddy was silent. I felt sad for them.

"Yes, ma’am. Our sincerest condolences." One of the burly men in front of Mommy gently pushed the red ribbon from Gracie’s hair that he was holding into a plastic baggy. He was there with another man that was dressed up just like him. In dark blue and black and a shiny color on their hats.

"It’s been two weeks…" Daddy whispered, nearly silent. "When are you going to find my daughter?!"

One of the men whispered something to his partner, before they both turned to look directly at Daddy. They were about to say something sad. I knew it.

"Mr. Gingerich, I’m sorry, but I told you the last time we came to see you." the other big man said, the first one pushing the plastic baggy into a bag hanging from his shoulder. "The average time span on finding a kidnapped child is about 48 hours. 72 if we’re lucky. I have to admit, I do not think we’ll be finding your daughter; as I said before. I think you need to start planning her funeral."

"We don’t even have a body!!" Mommy sobbed.

My mouth formed a thin line. I raced back up the stairs. I didn’t like seeing Mommy and Daddy sad. And I was sad too. I missed Gracie.

But Gracie wasn’t the best of friends. She was loud. And Mommy and Daddy liked her more than me. They smiled at her and played with her and stayed up with her at night if she couldn’t sleep. And she was loud every other time Mommy and Daddy weren’t around. She made me angry. And sad.

Gracie didn’t always used to be that way. She used to be small. And quiet. And Mommy would let me feed her sometimes but sometimes I just couldn’t because she wouldn’t open her mouth like a good girl.

I walked into my room and stared at my closet door. My room used to smell bad. Like really bad. For a week. Mommy and Daddy let me sleep on the couch while it smelled bad. They never checked the closet. I’m glad they didn’t. They might have found Gracie.

I reached high up and opened my closet door. I looked at Gracie, down on the ground. I started to cry a little bit. She didn’t look like Gracie anymore, so I usually had to hold a little picture I had of her and me when she was good. I would hold the picture near her and see Gracie again. I was mad at Gracie most of the time I saw her. Why couldn’t she just keep looking like her?

I had thought about showing Mommy and Daddy Gracie before. Just so they could stop crying and be happy so they would know where she was. But then I would get in trouble. And I don’t like Mommy and Daddy being mad at me.

Gracie was just always so loud. And Mommy and Daddy never even realized I existed. Of course - they still don’t.

Maybe I’ll show them Gracie someday.

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