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How long was I gone for? This wasn't happening again. And it was right in the middle of my math test. I was starting to think stuff like this only happened when I was in the middle of something important. For example, my brothers graduation last year. My whole family was there- except for me. Well I guess that time wasn't so bad. Apparently Uncle Fred drank a little too much, and his dance moves were not a pretty sight. But still, I had every intention of staying- I just couldn't. The first time this happened I was eight. My family and I were about to go on our first trip to Disney world. I couldn't contain my excitement. I didn't sleep for a week. My parents woke me and my two brothers up early in the morning, and we were off.
We got through baggage checking with no problems. I was about to get on the plane, my brain practically exploding from excitement, when I was gone. Where had I gone? I couldn't tell you to this day. I never know. All I remember is ending up on my front porch, apparently two days later. I had just disappeared. It was like I fell asleep for two days. I had no idea where I went. The police had been searching for me and everything. I was taken to the hospital, with absolutely nothing wrong with me. Not even a little scratch or bruise.
I couldn't explain to one person where I had been, or what happened to me. I was forced to stay in the psychiatric ward for the next two weeks. I still couldn't tell you what had happened to me.
But this was seven years later. Fifteen years old and these occurrences were still happening to me. I always wondered why me. I started to think it was kind of cool, you know, never knowing where I would end up. But then it started to become frustrating. Sometimes it was in the middle of class, other times when I was sleeping. It was hard enough being a freshman in high school anyway, but to add this just made it worse.
That wasn’t the worse part. After my failed Disney world trip, the time elapses were getting shorter and shorter. They were bearable. Sometimes five or ten minutes, only a half hour maximum. But as I started getting older, the time got longer. Sometimes a few hours. My mom would be worried sick. Yet I still couldn't tell her what was happening. I couldn't even tell myself what was happening. Because I truly didn't know. I think the scariest part was that I never knew if I was coming back. I don't have to worry about that now, but that was a fear when my entire life. Now it wouldn't be so bad if I never went back. It would save me a lot of embarrassment. I could never explain where I was, what I had been doing, why I wasn't able to do my homework the night before. It was never ending embarrassment.
I ended up back in my room. It was dark. The only light came from my window, the moonlight barely creeping in. I could have sworn my curtains were. Purple, tonight they looked bluer.
I heard an unfamiliar voice coming from downstairs. My body stiffened. I edged toward my door and poked my head out. Then I inched my way toward the stairs and looked down. There was a woman, laughing, on the phone. Before I could stop myself I screamed. She hurled her body around to see an unfamiliar girl standing in her stairwell.
She screamed and grabbed a pot sitting on the counter.
"Who are you?" She yelled in terror, "My husband should be home any minute".
"Who am I?" I questioned back, "I should be asking you that, this is my house."
"Your house?" She asked concerningly.
"Yes. The Patrick’s live here".
The woman's face dropped.
"… Are you Maddie Patrick?" She asked slowly.
How did she know my name?
She didn’t need to hear an answer from me. She knew.
"Sweetie… your family moved out twenty years ago after you disappeared".