PITTSBURGH: "It's me. It's Elisabeth."
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"Who is this?"

"Lainey. It's me. It's Elisabeth."

"Elisabeth? Elisabeth! Oh my God, Elisabeth!" I heard the clamber of her picking up the receiver; she'd had me on speakerphone in her mom’s kitchen. Then I heard her say something to a squealing child.

"Elisabeth, where are you? What are you doing? Are you alive? You're alive!"

I pulled the phone away from my ear for a few seconds, because she was suddenly shouting.

"Yes, Lainey. Yes, I am."

Then, she grew quiet.

"Elisabeth, we thought you were gone," she whispered. I could hear Lainey's muffled sobs in the receiver, and she kept repeating one thing:

"You're alive, Lis. I can't believe you're here."...

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