This story is by Kaartika Chitturi and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
Everyone packed their bags and we were ready to leave. In my two week trip to Britain I enjoyed a lot but now I was very sad to leave this wonderful place. My father’s friend is going to drop us near the local train station, as it is going to take a long time going to the airport by car as there is a lot of traffic. So we started to the train station. On my journey there I remembered the places I visited and how much fun I had there. This trip is the best trip in my whole life. I am very happy and I felt like nothing could go wrong. And just as I was thinking about the wonderful places we reached the station. I sighed and looked at this beautiful city for one last time to my hearts’ content and started to walk away step by step.
As we entered the railway station I noticed that there was a huge rush. There were a lot of people who were hurrying to catch their trains and little kids crying because of all the noise. It was a total commotion. We managed to reach our platform when my brother started to cry. Just then our train arrived. A lot of people rushed towards the doors and I managed to get inside by squeezing through people. However, my family didn’t. I realized that and I tried to get out. But it was too late as the doors were closed and my family stayed outside the train while I was inside.
My parents were shocked and upset, I saw from the window. They didn’t understand what happened because it was just too quick. My mother was almost cried. My father looked helpless at this moment. It was all a mess and no one knew what to do.
The train started to move from the station. There was no way to stop it. It sped across the green fields and huddles of houses as I felt so confused. I didn’t know what happened and it took time for me to take everything thing in and when I did I burst into sobs, feeling devastated and helpless!!
I lost my parents. Wait, what? No no no!! My parents lost me and I didn’t know what to do!! This has never happened before!!
How could I have been so careless?! Why didn’t I check if my parents were coming or not?! All sorts of questions and feelings popped into my brain and I thought how my parents must have felt like??
Even though a lot of people tried to calm me down I freaked out so much. I couldn’t think straight and felt shattered. Once, I have always wondered how someone can go missing. But not only did I know it but I experienced it too.
My father always told me to come along with him and that I shouldn’t go too far, but I never listened because there were no issues with that till now. But then I realized that I should have listened to him.
Now I need to do something because nothing will happen if I don’t do anything. But what can I do?! I need to get help from others. Where should I get down from the train??? I started to think of what I could do and remembered about an incident which happened some time ago.
“There was a person who got on a train which was just about to start. Later he realized that his family was not with him and immediately got down when the train was just closing the doors. What would you have done if you were in that person’s place and got inside the train without us?” My father asked.
I said something silly without thinking at all.
My father laughed “Oh!! No!!What you should really do is get down in the next station and wait for us to arrive with a safe person like a police or security.”
“But what if I miss the next stop? Do I get off in the next one?” I questioned.
“No. If you do that then we would have to check in every single station to look for you.” He answered “If you know your destination then get down there so we can easily find you. Or you can call me and tell me where you are from the co-passengers phone.”
I knew what to do, but will it work? Will it go as I want it to? Or will it be something different? Will I meet my parents? Oh, I am so confused but I don’t have any other option except to try and see how everything goes and hope for the best.
Soon the next station arrived and I was going to get down. But some people stopped me. They said,
“You mustn’t get down here!! It isn’t safe!! Looks like there is no security person in this station” A man exclaimed
“That man’s right!! You cannot get down here alone!! You can never know what will happen!!” an old woman said.
I tried to argue that my parents will come here soon to pick me up and before I knew it I missed the next station.
Then I asked a friendly looking lady to call my dad for me to inform that I couldn’t get down at the next station. She asked me his number and I told her. But the lady said that a couple of digits were missing. I tried to remember but I couldn’t get the whole number.
It is hopeless!! I thought, now I need to get down near the airport station.
A number of passengers traveling with me offered help and said that I would be fine and that I mustn’t worry, which made me more relaxed. A couple of people tried to track my father down using social media and asked me his details. I told them what I knew was safe to tell. But it wasn’t very helpful. Then a man asked me to search in my bag to find any details about my parents. I searched several times just in case I missed it but there was nothing except some food and my favorite books.
I was wondering what my father was doing now. How was he reacting to this situation? Is he thinking in the same direction as me? If not what will happen? What was he going to do?
My father might come to the second station and search for me there!! He will be disappointed and unhappy if he doesn’t find me there!! How will my mother feel? Will she cry?? What is going to happen?! I felt anxious and stressed. The journey to the airport station seemed very long and I was getting really impatient and tensed. Even though the train was making a lot of noise it was eerily silent inside me. All I could hear was my tense breathes and fast heartbeats. Just as I was giving up hope on finding my father I heard an excited scream.
“I found your father on Facebook” the lady shrieked enthusiastically “I informed him about you but there is no response yet. But hopefully, he will get to know at some time that you are safe.”
I couldn’t believe my ears!! This lady actually tracked my father down. I was delighted even though he didn’t quite give a response or reply. At least he got the message, I thought. Just then the train pulled up at the airport station and a crowd of people got down at once.
As I got off the train a man asked me if I would like to go with him as he is heading towards the airport as well. I didn’t really know if I could go with him because he is a stranger, and also I had a feeling that my parents are going to come here first to look for me. Then he said that he needs to hurry as it’s nearly time for his plane and left as there is no security officer around at that time. I went to the security office and waited there for a security officer to arrive and one came after a bit of time.
“Hello Officer, I am Leila Shafrey and I am 10 years old. My parents couldn’t board the train along with me, so could you please look after me until my parents come to pick me up?” I asked the officer.
“Oh! That’s a bit sad. But I would be happy to look after you dear.” The officer replied.
I was really happy and pleased that someone accepted to keep me safe until I meet my parents again.
After I waited for some time I needed the restroom. I asked permission from the officer and was going. Just then I heard the next train arrive. I looked around to see if my parents were there but they weren’t. A bit disappointed, I went to the restroom. However, when I came back I saw my family talking with the officer. I quickly ran up to them and my mother started to scold me immediately.
“What were you thinking? Going off like that!! Do you realize how much trouble you have caused us?!” She paused panting for breath. And before she could say anymore I hugged her. My father smiled knowingly. I hugged him too. This was the happiest moment in my life so far and I had tears of joy running down my pale cheeks.
Father looked at the time. It was nearly flight time and we needed to hurry!! I quickly said thank you to the officer who grinned at me and waved goodbye. As we entered the airport the announcement was made for our flight. It was time to check in. We quickly got through all the process and were soon inside the plane.
In the meantime, my father called his friend and told that he found me and said thank you for waiting in the train station until now.
When we were comfortable in our seats I asked my father,
“How did you know that I would be in the security office in the airport station??”
“I know that you follow my direction if you are in trouble…..but if you would have always followed then you might not have faced this issue.” He replied and smiled.
I smiled too and thought about my experience on this trip. I have never faced something so tremendously worrying in my life. I enjoyed this trip very much and just for a mistake I made everyone needed to face a few hours of horrible tension. Now I feel very relaxed and calm as I flew over the blue oceans and the white sky.