The springtime sun streaked through the skylight of the old library. It was late afternoon. Ariel put a book back on the dark cherry shelf and frowned. To Lana, who following her down the aisle, she said, “I’m looking for a good mystery.”Lana replied, “Okay. I’ll bite. Your best friend has disappeared.”Ariel laughed. “That’s not what I meant.”“I know.”Ariel looked sharply at her friend. “What do you mean, then?”Lana walked further down the aisle. “I don’t mean me, obviously, since I’m not your best friend.”“What –”“I meant Beth.”“You and Beth are both my best friends. You know that, even though you sometimes don’t act like it. But what about Beth?” Lana stared at a book on the shelf. “She’s gone. So, I guess you haven’t heard, then.”“Gone? Gone where? Heard what?”Lana shrugged and then looked at her friend. “That she hasn’t been seen since sometime last night. But it hasn’t been twenty four hours yet, so the cops can’t officially call her a missing person. I’m surprised no one’s talked to you yet.”“Talked to me? They talked to you?!”“Uh huh. Over at Beth’s parents’ house. I went there as soon as I heard. Carlie heard from her mom and told my mom. I’m surprised you weren’t in the loop and all. How weird. But anyway, there was nothing I could tell them, though. Maybe you have an idea or something, Ariel?”“Oh my god! No. I just thought she was out sick today. She was fine when we all left the café yesterday. Right?”“I guess so,” said Lana. “Well, come on, let’s get over to the police station. Maybe they’ve found her. And if not, maybe I can think of something to tell them which might help them if they haven’t. Although I can’t think what. Oh gosh! Come on, Lana – let’s go!” Ariel grabbed Lana’s arm and hurried towards the exit.Lana trailed Ariel out of the library and headed over to the back of the municipal building where the police station was located. Ariel went up to the front desk and asked if they had found Beth. The officer at the desk asked the girls to please have a seat and then got up and disappeared behind a door. The girls sat down on a wooden bench.“Well, it’s a mystery, isn’t it?” asked Lana.Ariel chewed her bottom lip. “I hope everything’s all right.”Lana looked away from Ariel and smiled. I doubt it.