Lost But Not Alone

The Ferris wheel that turned round and round, the screeches of the wheels that came to a halt at the end of the rides, and the obnoxiously annoying carnival music that was unfortunately not loud enough to drown out the background. They all surrounded me as I stood at the center of it all. Lost and alone. Surrounded by the screams of the kids riding the rides, the laughs of the parents, the flashes of the cameras, and the smiles of the workers.  

The vast park that promised me an escape from the arguing of my parents at home for a fun day was gone. The smile on my face that looked up at my father had long disappeared from when I first walked in. The hand that once held his, felt the familiar absence. People in all directions, and yet none of them were my father or sister. 

I’m okay. 

My mother, who seemed to have had the foresight of this occurring, had written my father’s phone number on my arm with a permanent marker. Its black numbers stood out darkly on my pale skin. The numbers, neat and clear, promised to guide me to my father. 

I took a deep breath and promised myself not to cry. 

I proceeded to walk towards the counter where the workers stood behind with their plastered smiles greeted those who approached. Including myself. 

My steps were hesitant as I was nearing the counter that seemed so far away. Step after step, as the distance grew smaller. 

“Excuse me,” I mumbled up towards the worker who towered over me. 

The man didn’t seem to hear me.

“Hello. Can you please help me?” 

No reply. 

Can he not hear me? See me?

“Excuse me, can you please help me!” I desperately cried to the man who couldn’t hear my voice or see my fear. 

He finally looked down at me, shocked at only now noticing my presence. 

“Oh, hello! How can I help you kid?” He questioned with a smile.

I looked up at his smile but quickly looked away. I couldn’t meet his eyes. I stared at my pale Nike sneakers that had long lost their original bright pink. I faintly replied that I was lost and looking for my dad. Looking for my dad in this theme park which seemed to be bigger than the world itself.

I stretched out my arm and showed him the 10 numbers. The numbers I thought I would never need to use.

The man dialed the numbers one by one. The phone rang and I waited for my father’s voice. And yet only a stranger’s voice asking to leave a voice message answered instead. 

As the man and I walked side by side looking for my father and sister, I watched as the other families had the time of their lives. My eyes looked in every direction, and yet my father was still not in sight. 

How did I get myself into such a situation? 

“You’re still too young to go on this ride. You’re sister and I will go on it while you go on the one next to it. We promise to be waiting for you after it ends.” 

It… it was supposed to be a good day. 

But now I’m alone with a stranger by my side with tears welling up in my eyes. 

I’m… not okay.  




My name?

Who’s calling my na- 

And there they were. Having the time of their lives on the rollercoaster which soared above all of the people’s screams, laughs, smiles, and my cries.

“There you are.”