It was a hot day in middle of June. I was around five years old. My Mom, Dad, brother, sister and I were on our way to one of the biggest amusement parks in India. The humid breeze crashed onto me like the warm air when you open an oven.
“Okay guys, we’re here.” Dad announced.
I slid open the car door, hopped out, and the first thing I saw was the tremendous amusement park sign. It was very eye catching. It had appealing colors like orange, red, pink, bright green, peach and white. We headed towards the longest line. People looked like bees buzzing on top of each other. The crowd was separated into two lanes by two bright yellow railings. The honeycomb-yellow sun was up blazing its rays at everyone. Time seem to crawl slowly as we continued waiting in the very crowded line. The heat from the high temperature was crashing down me like a burning blanket. The beautiful smell of the hot dogs and popcorn was in the air, as well as the odor of the people standing in the sweltering heat, practically pooling in their own sweat.
“Disgusting” I thought.
I gave my mom a strange look and told her what I observed. She understood right away and she suggested that I try to deal with it and enjoy what was to come. We pay our entry tickets and head into the park. After we got into the park we went on many rides, as we continued to walk to other rides. I saw this one ride a meter that I always wanted to go on, nothing else but that one ride. It was the roller coaster! (Kids version). It had an information sign with a cartoony green dragon, with fire coming out of its mouth and a measure stand saying you needed to be at least three-year-old and a certain height to go on. I excitedly ran towards the board, lining my back against it.
“Dad is this line above my height?” I asked.
“Yes, it is!” He answered.
It was like a child’s dream come true! I saw my mom and my siblings leaving us behind, I hurried and asked,
“Is it okay if I go on it?”
“Yes, but it will have to be later because as matter of fact the line is really long,” he answered.
“Let’s go, we have to catch up to your mom and siblings!”
I gazed at the noisy kids on the roller coaster watching them go up and down, and thinking how much fun they were having. I turned around. Bam! It hits me, my heart was pounding twice as fast. When I realized, my family wasn’t there. I could see them far away, but they were almost melting into the crowd. Tears started to flow down my cheek as I fell on my knees covering my face. I didn’t want to show anyone I was crying. After all I was a big girl and big girls don’t cry. I was feeling scared, nervous and sad at the same time. Inside millions of questions were eating me up. Where was my family going? Why didn’t I follow them? And why didn’t they know I wasn’t there? Seconds passed by into minute after minute. Minutes later I felt a claw on my shoulder. I turned around and it was this humongous man with a dark black beard, a scar right across his face and a big hand.
“What’s your name?” He asked with his low voice.
“Um………. Harnoor.” I was more scared than I have ever been.
“It looks like you’re lost?”
“Yes,” I replied.
His eyebrows went up and his eyes glared and he asked, “Do you want a ride home?”
I was outside my house on my driveway playing basketball alone, people passed by just like usual. It was a regular day in summer. It suddenly seemed like another person was about to pass by, but this person stopped. I remembered thinking he looked perfectly “normal”. He didn’t look like one of those “Bad people”. When he stopped, he stepped towards me, pulled a candy out of his grey stylish hoody, gave me a smile offered me the candy.
“Would like a candy?”
My mouth watered, “Yes I love candy” I answered with a gigantic smile on my face.
He handed me the precious candy. I judged the candy for a little bit so it was safe.
“Go ahead, you can eat it.” He was waiting impatiently for me to eat it, for me this was the best thing that could happen. So, I ran inside my house fast as a cheetah to share this awesome news with my mom.
“Mom, guess what?”
“Did you break someone’s bumper again?”
“No! I got a free candy” I said.
“From whom?” she asked.
“The astonishing guy outside.”
The candy was about to sink into my teeth before, my Mom squished both of my cheeks leaving them red after reached in, quickly pulled out the candy out of my mouth, and threw it into the garbage. Who knew she had such quick reflexes?
“What were you thinking?” She asked me.
“I told you so many times to never eat anything from a stranger or go into a stranger’s car. Remember the news I told you.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t remember” I said.
It was one of those important lectures that parents tell you, when you’re younger that you have to keep in mind forever.
All of a sudden, a door opened in my brain, I remembered one of my mom’s popular sayings “No stranger’s car…” “Don’t go into a stranger’s car.” In a flash, he tightly held my hand and grabbed me to the parking lot. It was the worst feeling ever, it was like having lots soap in your eyes. I thought he was dropping me off by my car so my parents could find me, I was wrong. He puts his hand in his pocket, grabs his keys and press the black unlock button to unlock his car. It was a dirty white van with a skull car tattoo on the back. I started to scream because I knew something bad was going to happen. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” I screamed for help. I was fascinated by the coincidence that my parents were in the car parked beside his car. It was a sign of hope.
“Hey you” my dad said enraged. You don’t want to be in that room when he is angry. The scary looking man loosens my hand, looks at me then my dad. He looked really confused. “You better let go before I call the police” He drops my hand, walks swiftly as he could to his car. My dad writes down his car’s dirty license number plate to deal with him later. Nothing but not going on the roller coaster made me feel bad. When we got back home the sun sank below the tips of the houses. It wouldn’t be long before it was completely dark. When we got back home I told my parents everything that had happened, and I was so mad at my dad for not letting me go that roller coaster…. I was always told to never talk to strangers, but behind my brain I always thought it would never happen to me, you never know what’s ahead. It sure was a scary incident of my life but it taught me a very important lesson when I was only five.