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When I was seven, I got lost in the movie theatre. I was looking at the display of the shop and when I turned around and my family was gone.
I panicked even though I had been coming there my whole life, I knew where the halls were, I knew the way to the washroom and even the counter which sold the kind of chips I liked. The problem was I didn’t know which hall was screening the movie we came to watch and every person that met my gaze appeared to be waiting for a chance to whisk me away from my family.
Ironically, I remember, the film was based on kidnapping but before I could panic further I spied my brother entering the door closest to me and I quickly followed him, he glanced behind him, and took my hand when he saw me, leading me to our seats. My whole family was settled in their seats oblivious to the fact that I had almost made the files of missing children.
I kept my mouth shut and the incident burrowed itself in my memories never to resurface until today.
I was standing in the middle of the field turning my head right and left hoping to glimpse someone I knew. I was in school and somehow I had been left behind.
I was again standing alone in a setting I knew all too well yet I could not my make my feet move, they were rooted to the ground and my nails dug in the palm of my hand, I tried to maintain my cool but I was unsettled.
I felt the stares of the students loitering around raking all over me, my skin itched wherever their gazes landed, but when I looked over to the people, no one was paying attention to me, everyone was lost in their own world, laughing and enjoying but every time I looked down paranoia swept over me again.
I was lost again and this time, it wasn’t stranger danger that made breathing difficult and my palms sweaty but those imaginary stares which judged me, seeing me as the girl who had no one.
I don’t know I how long I stood there until I spotted the shiny brown ponytail bobbing up and down, attached to my best friend.
I ran until I caught up with her assuring the starrers that I was in fact, not alone.
We fell into step and she started prattling as oblivious as my family had been that day, the day I got lost.