Chapter Fifteen: Search Party:

November 2nd, 1999.

Allison Parkman found herself in over her head this time. Her sixteen-year-old niece, Kimoto Anna, had come to live with her because her father died. The thirty-five year old had been used to living all alone. In fact, Allison had been raised to be independent early on in childhood while her father was in the army. Now, she had to take care of a non-English speaking teenager. The first day was just awkward; the girls couldn�t bond with each other. They sat at the kitchen table in silence all night.

What am I doing?, Allison thought, I haven�t the slightest clue how to raise a child! She did love her niece; she just didn�t know how to raise Anna. By day two, Allison had to surrender for help. She called her best friend, Daisy Kessler, for help by morning.

�I can�t help her, Dais!� she complained, �Anna doesn�t speak English and my Japanese is rusty. Plus, I am no good with kids! Help me!�

�Okay,� Daisy said, �Calm down, I�ll be right over.� Lucky for Allison, they have been living next door since they retired from the army. Daisy came over to Allison�s house and helped both girls. Over time, Daisy became a part of the family. Anna even called her, �Aunt Daisy.�

May 20th, 2009.

The situation hadn�t gotten any better in the weeks they had been searching in Japan. Becky and the girls hadn�t found any leads about what happened to Anna. Since Henry went back to San Diego after leaving them a strange text, the mission had come unglued. Becky needed to call on the big guns. She lowered her coffee cup on the table in the hotel restaurant.

�I have no choice,� Becky told them, �I have to tell them.� The women all looked at her with a flash of panic on their faces.

�No,� the woman in the Pink Floyd shirt said, �You can�t, they�ve been through enough as it is.�

�But I have to, Gillian,� Becky said, �We�ve kept them in the dark too long about our progress. I have to tell them something.�

�Can�t you hold off a bit longer?� Gillian asked.

�We can�t,� the leader declared. �Ms. Parkman and Ms. Kessler care about Anna as much as we do.� Gillian said nothing. Becky gathered up her trash on the table.

�Excuse me,� she said. The rest of the crew watched as Becky got up from the table and walked outside. Something told them that she had been keeping in contact with them in secret this whole time.

Becky threw away her trash and stood near the vending machines outside. She could still remembered the aunts just as clearly as if she was looking at them right now. Allison seemed to always have no emotion on her face. Her bright orange-hair was cut like a boy�s. She had heterochromia�her left eye was a cool sapphire blue while her right was a milky caramel brown. Allison always looked scary alone; the bright colors she wore never helped. She wasn�t really a warm or social person; many feared her, in fact. Yet, Allison did have a heart thanks to Anna and Daisy.

Speaking of Daisy, she was the opposite of her best friend. Everyone described her as a gentle woman who was great with kids. Daisy could be described as shy and sweet. She always looked up to Allison. Daisy wore darker colors with her deep dusty brown hair to her shoulders. She barely spoke; Allison did most of the talking. Both women knew how to survive. Becky pulled out her cell phone and dialed Allison�s house phone. She paced around as she waited.

�Hello?� a grouchy voice asked on the other line. Becky leapt up into attention at the sound.

�Allison?� she asked. The younger woman waited for a reply.

�Oh, it�s you,� the older woman grumbled.

�Hi,� Becky said with a smile on her face.

�Do you know what time it is?� Allison asked, �Where the hell are you guys?�

Becky looked up at the cloudless, afternoon Tokyo sky. �In Japan, ma�am.�

�Why are you there?� the older woman asked with a hint of confusion in her voice.

�To find out what happened to Anna,� Becky said in a strong voice.

�She�s dead, Becky! It was suicide,� Anna�s aunt protested over the phone, �Just let it go!� Inside, the rest of the former photo club watched as Becky took a seat on the bench outside.

�I don�t believe that! She�s too strong for that!� the leader shouted over the phone.

�There are times when I wish I didn�t agree with you so much. What do you think happened?� Allison replied. Becky looked around and placed her hand over her cell phone.

�I think she was murdered or sold into the sex trade,� she whispered. Allison snorted at such a remark. Becky lowered her hand from the phone.

�What?� she asked.

�Even if it true, what will you do after that?� the aunt questioned. Becky thought about that as she looked above her..

�If she�s alive, we will bring her home,� she answered in a serious tone.

�And if Anna�s dead?� Allison asked. The younger woman shrugged.

�We go home happy to have learned the truth. Come on, it�ll be worth finding out the truth! Please, it�s all I ask,� she pleaded.

�And why can�t you go to the police?� the grouchy older woman asked.

�We did that already,� the leader explained.

�And what did they say?� Allison questioned with a voice that said, �I want to go back to sleep now.�

�They brushed us off with something like, �We�ll look into it!� But, I think they�re hiding something. It just seems so odd that Japan would the rest of the world that Anna committed suicide. Makes me want to find out what really happened and why. Come on, don�t you want to know that truth and give Anna some peace to rest with?� Becky answered with a sigh. Allison thought about all of this. The twenty-six year old Pomeranian puppy on the line her think of Anna when she first came to San Diego back in �99�desperate for some guidance after an earth-shattering event.

�Fine!� Allison hissed, �but this better not turn into a wild goose chase!� Becky�s eyes lit up in joy.

�Thanks, Ms. P!� she exclaimed, �You won�t regret this! We�ll get to the bottom of this, I promise!�

�Whatever,� Allison mumbled. Becky nodded as the phone hung up. Meanwhile miles away in the busy-beautiful city of Tokyo�