Has Anyone You Know Ever Gone Missing? - That One Time I Went Missing

 It was the festive season. It was either Christmas or New Year, I can't really remember the specific one as it happened over 15 years ago. I must have been 6 or 7 years old at the time. We were all excited when my dad told us that we would go to the Amusement park.

You see, back then, where I lived in Ogun state, if your parents ever take you to the Amusement park, you have earned bragging rights instantly. So why would I not be elated? My siblings were too. Even though it was not our first time going there. My mum picked out my clothes and it was looking 'cham-cham'. My siblings had dressed up and I remember I was the last to finish dressing up. Last born things I suppose 😋

We journeyed all the way from Ogun state to the Amusement park in Lagos State. We were all active throughout the whole trip, talking about rides we would go and things we would do. My siblings seemed to be the ones that would be allowed to get into the 'merry-go-round' because they said I was too small. That thing pained my soul but I had consolations. I had three Christmas clothes that year while my siblings had just two, like I said earlier, last born things 😊

We got there and the crowd, oh God! The crowd!! People were everywhere. There was no space to navigate. My father knew we had to get tickets to get in and all of that so we split ourselves into two groups. My two sisters and my mum were a group. My brother, my father and I were another group. I think there was some sort of an agreement to meet up at a rendezvous. The race to get tickets began.

My father went further in and told my elder brother to hold on to me tightly. One minute I could see my father from where I was, the next minute I was holding a total stranger. Where's daddy? Where's my brother? I was just seeing other people but I couldn't see my family. I wanted to start crying but I didn't. I figured out I had to get into the Amusement park if I ever wanted to see my family again..........😡

I could see the gates from where I was so I just followed that direction. How I got in without tickets is what I don't understand up till today. All I know is that I got in. I was a short kid so I must have squeezed through somewhere.
I got into the park hoping the first faces I would see would be that of my family but I was rudely disappointed. I just saw other excited kids with their respective families. Where's my family? I realized I was lost.😢

Instead of getting excited about the rides I was seeing, I was interested in getting help. Fortunately, I saw a policeman. Then when policemen were policemen. I walked up to him and told him "I am looking for my mummy and daddy". He swung into action, asked for my full name, name of my parents, my address, my age, my class, how many siblings I had. I told him everything, that was when I started crying. He told me not to cry and bought me Maltina. I saw Maltina and shut my little trap up. 😀😀

We walked furthermore where he took me to a stage and asked me to sit down, told me, "You will see your mummy soon you hear, no cry again, big boys no dey cry, are you not a big boy?".

 I replied that I was a big boy while sipping my dear Maltina.

 They started announcing on the stage about a missing boy with my full name and my parents names. They repeated this every 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, my mum, having realized that her child was missing, was having the worst day of her life. She had administered nothing less than 4 destiny-reseting slaps on my brother's face for losing me. My father seemed to be rather calm as a man and all. They had been looking for me outside the gates but an instinct directed my mum to come inside the park. She did, and heard the announcement that was being made about a missing boy. She rushed to the stage and found her baby boy sipping Maltina. I saw the distressed look on her face, her makeup was gone, the scarf she tied on her head was already around her waist. I was so happy that I found someone from my family. It didn't take long, the rest of my family came and we got reunited.

My father and the policeman discussed while I was busy pointing at rides I would climb. All through every ride, my dearest mother was behind me like a hawk. It turned out to be fun after all. It was a distressing experience but now it is a story.

This morning, I remembered the Police man and I didn't get the opportunity to say thank you. If you ever helped a missing boy 15 or 16years ago at the Amusement park, here's that same boy telling you thank you sir. If you didn't help me and I didn't get to see my family again, who knows what would have become of me. Thank you.

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