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I Can Not Help People
God, that looks like blood. How do people sleep with that in their room? I was shopping for a new lamp at IKEA as my old one had broke. Thanks to IKEA’s weird floor plan, I had to pass all their questionable painting on my way to the lamp section. I didn’t mind though. Criticizing IKEA’s painting had become the most fun thing about the store after I outgrew their Smaland.
I had finally reached my destination when a boy came around. He was about twelve and looked frantic. I didn’t pay much attention to him - as I was debating whether if the TIVED was an accurate portrayal of my personality- so I was really surprised when he appeared talked.
“Are you busy?” he asked.
“Er… Sort of.” I wanted to get this conversation over as soon as possible but I didn’t want to seem rude.
“Well, I need your help. I was supposed to get batteries and my sister wanted to tag along and I didn’t want her but my mom said I had to take her along while my mom shopped for pillows but while I was look for the AAA she sort of ran away yelling that she was playing hide-and-seek and now I can’t find her but I can’t tell my mom because she’ll bring up how I almost lost her only daughter at IKEA every time I’m irresponsible.”
I looked around hoping to see some affable adult that didn’t look like a kidnapper to take care of this over-sharing child. When I ceased to find a single person, I decided to help him.
“So… What am I looking for exactly?” I asked.
“Short, dark brown hair in a ponytail, five years old. She’s in a yellow t-shirt and jeans.”
I kept myself from stating that he had described the majority of the five year olds I had seen and went searching.
C’mon. Think. Where do five year olds like to hide? It occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned we should split up and that is why the twelve-year old was trailing behind me.
“You know. We could work a lot more efficiently if we split up.”
“And who are you supposed to come to if you find her?” He had a point.
“Right. Yo, we should check the wardrobe and dresser section. You could probably fit a child in there.” During my efforts to sound responsible, I had come off sounding like a psychopath.
The boy however, seemed unfazed by my questionable outburst. “Yeah. Good thinking. Where do we go?”
At this point I had decided that any conversation with this guy was going to end up making me look like a train wreck. I gave up trying to sound intelligent.
“I have no idea.” We flagged down an IKEA salesperson and asked them where to find the wardrobes. (In hindsight, we probably could’ve told them we were looking for a kid and this whole thing could’ve been over faster but we’ve already established I can’t work under pressure.)
Once reaching the wardrobe section, we split up and opened every door there was. We probably looked pretty sketchy; two teenagers frantically opening every single door in IKEA.
When I was at my sixth closet, I opened to find a girl sitting at the bottom. I wasn’t expecting her to start screaming and run away. So here I am, chasing this little kid down the halls of IKEA, trying not to bump into things, when she bumps into the woman. I’m about to apologize even though I’m not the one that bumped into her, when this kid exclaims “There you are mom!”
The girl’s older brother stops abruptly behind me when he realizes what happened. Him and I stand in different stages of horrification; him because he’s going to yelled at, me because I’m not exactly sure how to explain why I was chasing this woman’s daughter.
At this point I realised I knew neither the girl’s nor the boy’s name. I decided that my best option was just to leave before things got weird and leave the boy to unfortunate fate.
Slowly backing away, I turned around and decided that I could live a few more weeks without a lamp. Maybe I could get one from Walmart or some other place without creepy paintings and little girls playing hide-and-seek.