When I was younger, my family used to go away on holidays with lots of our family friends. It was a great time, we would all go off with our friends in the day and at night we would come together like some sort of cult and eat dinner. We stopped going away once the older kids started to get into mischief. I was one of the younger ones, so I don’t know what they did but I assume it was typical teenager stuff like drinking and smoking. Us younger kids always resented the older kids for ruining everything. Our world was so much more innocent. Our parents were pretty relaxed and we were free to roam around and come and go as we pleased. Our days were spent riding bikes around or going to the beach to collect shells. As long as we let one of the parents know what we were doing, everything was usually fine.
One evening when I was about six years old, I went for a walk around the place where we stayed with my friends and some of the older girls. We stopped by a bathroom and I went into one of the cubicles. I remember hearing my friends laughing and being silly and then everything went quiet. I assumed they were waiting outside for me but when I came out, they were gone.
I panicked. I had no idea how to get back. I was terrified. I can still remember looking around in the dark and being totally disorientated. I started crying and I tried screaming out to the others but they didn’t come back. I was so young, I felt like I would be lost forever. Luckily a nice lady found me and walked me back to where I was staying. Not enough time had passed for anyone to even notice I was gone. I assume the girls went to play somewhere and everyone assumed I was with them.
I asked them why they left me and they said they didn’t notice that I wasn’t there. I was forgotten, just like that. Still a part of me wonders how no one could have noticed. I was well-liked by my friends, I was quiet but I wasn’t shy around them. I wonder if maybe one of them did notice but didn’t want to speak up or didn’t want to make the whole group have to turn around and look for me. I was so lucky that the lady found me and I don’t want to think of any other possible outcomes.