My name is Ashley Castano and I'm 16 years old. I was born on the 3rd April 1996 in Phoenix, Arizona and this is my story.
My father, Pablo Castano, was Italian and my mother, Meredith Keller, was American. They met in Rome, Italy while my mother was on vacation with two co-workers. I'm not sure if it was love at first sight because they never told me exactly what happened. All I know is that they met in a cathedral. My father moved to Michigan where my mother used to live. She divorced her husband to marry my father. They got married in Phoenix two weeks after the divorce.
I was raised Roman Catholic. In Phoenix, we lived only 15-minute walk away from St. Mary's Basilica. However, we usually went to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church which was only 4-minute walk away. I also have an older sister named Lucy. She was born on the 20th June 1994. We don't get along much but we care for one another. Even though she never admits it, I know I mean a lot to her. She was always there for me when I needed her. We disagree about almost everything, such as fashion. She loves dresses and high heels. On the contrary, my wardrobe is full of T-shirts and jeans, and I'm into sneakers. However, I do wear dresses on special occasions. I missed my sister as she went to the University of Arizona. She visited us every now and then but she mostly hangs out with friends in her free time.
My father is a surgeon and my mother is a psychiatrist. They both like their work, although sometimes they arrive home very exhausted. The weekend is always free for my mother but our father has only Sunday free. Sunday is the only day we can go out as a family. On Fridays and Saturdays I usually go out with friends and on Saturday mornings I sometimes go shopping with my mother. I mostly like shopping for sneakers and I have a wide collection of sneakers at home. I have all colors of sneakers. My mother, on the other hand, is like Lucy, she prefers to buy dresses. In fact, they share dresses every now and then, after all they're both size 8.
On Friday, 2nd November 2012 the phone rang and my mother answered it. I was watching TV in the living room. My mother's expression turned from normal to a worried expression.
"What's wrong?" I asked her as she hung up.
"That was Madison. They don't know where Lucy is. Madison said that the last time they saw her was at a club on Wednesday night," my mother said as she started crying.
Madison Riley was Lucy's best friend and Lucy's boyfriend's sister. Lucy's boyfriend was Jason Riley. There was also Madison's boyfriend, Noah Jones. They always hung out together. I used to hang out with them sometimes, even though they're 2 years older than me. They all went to the University of Arizona.
"Did they report to the police that she went missing?" I asked trying to keep as calm as possible.
"Yes they did. I have to call your dad."
I must go to Tucson I thought. I went upstairs to my bedroom and started packing whatever I found. My brain couldn't process anything else. I just had to get to Tucson to find my sister.
My cellphone rang while I was packing. I thought it would be good news about my sister. But it was Emily Song, my best friend since grade 2.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Hey Ash, your mother called me. She told me about Lucy. How are you holdin' up? Would you like me to come over?"
"No, it's okay. I must go to Tucson. Don't tell my mum until I leave because she won't let me go."
"I'll come with you. Did you tell Liam or Dana?" Liam Grayson, my boyfriend since we were 14, lived a few streets away from me and Dana Clark, my other best friend, lived next to Emily.
"I'm sure they won't let you go alone either if you tell them," she suggested.
"I don't want to make them come. They'll come if they really want to. I won't force anyone."
"Say whatever you want but I'm coming too. I'll tell the others; they should know. What's your plan anyway?" She asked a good question which I haven't even asked myself.
"Once I get there I'll call Madison. Maybe she can keep us in her room." It was the only idea I had.