Phoebe is convinced that her mother has been kidnapped. She cannot believe that her mother would simply walk out and leave them. Yet her mother left notes for her, her sister, and her father, along with several prepared meals in the freezer. Phoebe sets off to find her mother, treating it as a mystery to be solved. She is furious that her father is not taking her seriously and will not call the police. She suspects that their next door neighbor, Mrs. Cadaver, has something to do with it. Everything Mrs. Cadaver does is interpreted as a clue to her guilt by Phoebe. Sal, whose own mother had left them when they lived in Bybanks, understands why Phoebe cannot accept the truth: her mother left of her own free will. Sal sympathizes with the manic search, since she herself had trouble believing that her mother would actually want to leave her.