That night, Sal sleeps over at Phoebe's house because Phoebe is feeling pretty crummy without her mom. So crummy, in fact, that the next morning, Phoebe tries to convince her dad that she's too sick to go to school.
Everyone – Phoebe, Prudence, Mr. Winterbottom – is missing Mrs. Winterbottom hardcore. The household is barely functioning and everyone's on edge.
At school, Phoebe invents all kinds of stories about where her mom might be. Her classmates keep trying to pry the truth out of her, until Sal lays the smack down, telling them, "everyone has their own agenda."
At this point, Phoebe is absolutely positive that the lunatic kidnapped her mom, so, like a little Nancy Drew, she searches the house for clues.
They discover that Mrs. Winterbottom has left a bunch of frozen meals in the freezer for them so that they don't have to worry about cooking for themselves. Mr. Winterbottom points to this as evidence that Mrs. Winterbottom has not in fact been kidnapped.
As Sal heads home that night, Mrs. Cadaver sees her and invites her to have dessert with her and her dad. Sal doesn't feel like it (what a shock), so Sal's dad decides to skip out on dessert, too, and he walks home with her.
Along the way, Sal poses the possibility that maybe her mom was forced to go to Idaho (just like Phoebe's mom might have been kidnapped by a lunatic). She tells him that maybe they should have stopped her from going. But Sal's dad says that you have to let a person do what they want to do.
They sit on their porch and watch the sunset, and they're both totally down in the dumps.