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The Longest Night MAG
I come from a country in South America calledColombia. My life was normal, like anyone else's, until a year ago whenmy father was kidnapped. I never thought the absence of one person wouldmake such hole.
It was a Friday, and I didn't have school becauseit was a holiday. My friends had asked me to lunch, and we planned tomeet at a restaurant.
I spent all morning with my father and thenhe took me to my brother's office where I waited for my friends to call.At 12, my father called. He told my brother we should meet him forlunch, and I said I planned to eat with my friends. My brother said,"I am sorry, I just told Papi we are going to eat lunch with him,but if you don't want go, it's okay."
My father picked us upand we went to a restaurant. We talked for a while and then he offeredto take me to find my friends. But when we got to the restaurant, theyhad already left. I'm glad I had lunch with my father that day, though,because I had no idea that something terrible was going tohappen.
My father told me to be at the office by 6 p.m.so he could pick me up. At 6 he called to say he was on his way, butthen the unthinkable happened. At 6:35 the telephone rang again and thesecretary answer-ed a call from my father's friend, who said my fatherhad been kidnapped. I couldn't believe it.
When my father'sfriend got to the office, he told us what had happened. Nine mencarrying weapons, driving an old car, blocked my father's car on one ofthe main roads of Bogota. They told my father to go with them, lettinghis friend go. He said my father was so afraid, the only thing he coulddo was ask who they were and why they wanted him.
It was theworst news I have ever heard. I called my brother, and we looked for myfather that whole night, the longest night of my life. We later receivedletters from the kidnappers, and a videotape, demanding $2 million. It'sbeen eight months since we have heard anything about my father.
Now for safety reasons I am in America on a student visa. My mother andbrother stayed in Colombia because they couldn't get visas. I am livingwith my sister and brother-in-law. Coming to America was like being bornagain; I had to learn to speak, write, eat different foods, and find myplace in a world where I don't belong, but which offers a lot ofopportunities.
Fortunately, I have people who never have left me:my sister, my brother and my mother. I realize that family is the onlything you have in bad times.
All my father did will be always inour hearts, and in everything we do, he will be present. We are who weare because of Papi.
Once, Long Ago by Andra N., Setauket, NY
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By Audrey M., Milford, CT
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