It was Sunday. We were on a family outing to town. I was about 6 or 7, maybe 8 and was to follow my parents who held my younger sister and brother. I followed my dad. He was tall, and I could see his head among the crowds.
We headed to a department store. I remember walking into the store and feeling overwhelmed with the large crowd and the shiny merchandises. I kept sight of my dad when I looked briefly away to see what were on the shelves.
Farther we went, busier and more packed it became. I fell behind a bit, found my dad’s head and hurried. When I caught up, I reached to grab my dad’s hand.
The man who turned to see who was grabbing his hand, however, was not my dad.
I was stunned and then started to panic.
I came to a standstill in the middle of the moving crowd, looking frantically around for my family. There was no sight of them. No glimpse of my dad’s head. Not a single familiar face. I was lost. I felt scared, insecure, unsafe and vulnerable. Should I run? Scream? Can they hear me? I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I felt like crying.
It didn’t last long. My dad soon found me and took me to where the rest of the family was.
Four decades later, I am lost again and feel exactly same. This time, though, no one is looking for me.