Chapter 1

Paranoiaa disturbed thought process characterized by excessive anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion

Marilyn Bliss Hughes was the most well known student at Dillard High School, a private school located in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After leaving the country of Britain and moving to Fort Lauderdale in the fifth grade, Marilyn had been the target of many rumors but also many friendships. After being tormented and used by endless amounts of people, Marilyn finally found three best friends that she could count on: Natalie Colombo, Erika Golias, and Alexia White.

Marilyn was beautiful. That was partly why everyone was so fascinated with her. Her long, light blonde hair swung back and forth whenever she walked and her dark blue eyes twinkled whenever she smiled. She was charming, caring, and kind; she never had anything bad to say about anyone. She was very intelligent and always worked hard in school. Every girl wanted to be her and every guy wanted to be with her. She was, as most people say, "The It Girl".

What started out as an ordinary day ended up being unanticipated and appalling. No one suspected that June 5, 2008 would be the last day anyone would ever see Marilyn.

Marilyn Hughes was seventeen years old when she disappeared.

*

Kate Hughes had just come home from an exhausting day at the office. Being a pediatrician definitely had its ups and downs; dealing with hysterical children all day long could really put a person to work. She set her purse and keys on the small table by the front door and shrugged off her jacket, hanging it on the coat rack. From the corner of her eye, she saw a brown coach purse and all of its contents strewn across the floor. She bent down and picked up crumpled papers, pens, makeup, perfume, and a foldable mirror and threw them back into the purse, thinking that it must had fallen onto the floor from the table.

Realizing the purse was her daughter's, she walked over to the bottom of the staircase and yelled, "MARILYN, I'M HOME!"

Usually, Marilyn came bounding down the stairs to give her mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek. But this time, there was no response. Kate called her name a second time and got the same, silent response. She decided to take matters into her own hands by running up the stairs and down the hall to Marilyn's room, thinking that she was probably listening to music and simply couldn't hear her.

Kate swung the door open to Marilyn's room and gasped. The first thing she noticed was Marilyn not being in there. As she warily stepped onto the pink plush carpet, she saw that Marilyn's jewelry box was gone. Kate's heart began to hammer inside her chest as her eyes scanned the room. All of Marilyn's valuable items were gone. Her iPod, her phone, her mini Mac…all were gone. She reached under her bed to look for the hundreds of dollars that Marilyn hid under there, but came up with nothing. She came to the sudden realization that her house had been robbed. That explained the mess from the pocketbook and the missing items in Marilyn's room. But the most important question remained: Where was Marilyn?

Kate grabbed the curtains hanging in front of Marilyn's window and moved them apart. She nearly fell to the ground when she saw the word "Bye" written on the window. Then she leaned in closer to examine it.

It was written in blood.