I was nine years old, with thick, black, curly hair and tanned skin. I was in Pune, India, for vacation and the date was July 10, 2014. I went to the temple with my family and relatives to celebrate a festival. As soon as the festival ended, the truth dawned on me too late. Something very big in my life had happened that day, and I was afraid I would never see my family again.
Earlier on that day, we went up the steps and entered the temple. I gasped. A big smile was on my face. The outside was polished marble with a gleam to it. The interior was also made of marble and was huge. It had a million of bright decorations. At the front of the temple, there were eight statues of important gods in our Hindu religion. The priests were preparing food and clothes for the gods idol. In addition, there was a lot of noise - from people’s shoes, talks, and orders. I honestly hated going to temples, but this one was fascinating, with wonders to behold.
After my cousins came, right away one of them ran to me and asked if I could play with her. I agreed and we played a series of tag. In the middle of hide-and-seek tag, my cousin got lost. I didn’t realize that until it was 15 minutes and I still couldn’t find her. I started thinking she would come out, until I started calling her name and telling her it wasn’t funny anymore. I asked my grandma to come with me to look for her, so I wouldn't get lost either. I was really nervous. I hated situations where someone is lost and people are helpless about it. I turned this way and that way, trusting my senses. Luckily, I heard a loud voice shouting, after I took a right turn. I picked up my pace and headed towards it. We found her within minutes. I was very relieved that she was okay.
After eating, we headed outside. Many performances were being held for religious purposes. There were NO CHAIRS, so I had to stand for a very long time. The dances were very intimidating though, so that kept me engaged. As the last performance was held, it was time to go back home.
Just as everything ended, I looked up to see two different people who were not my parents. I froze, and automatically color drained from my face. “Uh oh,” I said. WHERE DID MY PARENTS GO? Where was the rest of my family? I looked for my parents frantically. Then, I ran from the crowd. I inhaled sharply and began to run the fastest I had ever in my life. I needed to find them. I couldn't give up just yet. Finally, I came back to where I started, panting hard. I was frustrated. I took another deep breath. I sat down and quietly told myself, “First of all, calm down. It doesn’t help if you’re panicked. Okay, now think what your parents told you to do when you are lost.” Those lessons were really coming in handy just about then. While my concentration was on that, I never noticed that the crowd suddenly vanished. Minutes after I turned my head around, I saw no one. The time was ticking and fear built up inside my chest, as I looked around. Then I estimated how much time had passed. “Five minutes,” I said, repeating it over and over. I couldn't take it anymore and started hyperventilating. So many thoughts rushed in my mind at once. I felt overwhelmed and shocked. The five minutes became ten, which became twenty and so on. Maybe this was just a dream. I closed my eyes, kicked myself real hard, and winced. Then I opened my eyes. My stomach felt like it was being knotted. I couldn’t hold my tears back anymore. I began to cry, letting the salty tears roll down my pale cheek.
Later on, when I had calmed down, I had just realized I should have asked someone to call my parents. I was so confused and tired. My heart hammered so loudly in my chest that if you were sitting next to me you could hear it. My brows were knitted and I squinted in the distance. My life depended on my family. This could not really be happening. Sorrow and depression entered my soul, filling up slowly. Surely, some big mistake had happened. The least I could do was pray to god, since I was in a temple.
Then after what seemed a long time, I saw a shadow lurking through door outside. I creeped up and heard wailing voices calling someone. I wasn’t sure who though. All I knew, was those weren’t any of my family members’ voices. But still, I mustered all the strength, confidence, and courage I had. I strongly replied, “Who's there?”