In the crowded shopping mall, a four-year-old girl, Emma was seen crying her eyes out. Her insecurities and fear of abandonment had caused her to panic and wander off as soon as she lost sight of her parents and older sister. The lost little girl knew that it is dangerous for a kid to be without in company of an adult because he or she might be kidnapped-that is instilled into her mind by the adults she'd learnt to trust. She tried to hold back her tears, stay calm and keep looking, she really did.
Most adults who walked by just turned their heads to look and walked away, while a few stayed to watch a bit longer before they too, left. Only little children do more than that: They pulled at their parent's or caretaker's hand and pointed at the crying girl, saying that they should help, but it all ended the same because none wanted to get involved in this seemingly troublesome situation.
Another girl strayed from her parents or caretakers, and came towards Emma, "Why are you crying?"
Emma choked on her tears, struggling to make her voice work and audible, "Mama and papa… gone…"
"Your mother and father's missing?" The other girl repeated.
Even though Emma's verbal skill was terrible, she understood that the other girl wasn't asking for confirmation, but was unsure of what to do to help a lost girl-her worried and slightly panicky voice said that much.
The girl was clueless of what she should do, but decided to stay with Emma. For that, Emma felt grateful, and her crying was reduced to sobbing and hiccupping.
That doesn't last long though, soon the parent or caretaker to the other girl called for her.
"But she's lost!" The other girl replied when the adult told her to leave with them.
"Don't care!" Two words from the adult, and that was the end of it. She reluctantly left with them, turning her head to see Emma. That was the last time Emma see her few minutes-or is it seconds?-friend (at least she thought it was). Emma felt lonelier than ever.
Emma knew that the little girl wasn't to be blamed, for children aren't worthy of making important decisions, adults are-another lesson instilled into her brain. Little children weren't able to help her because decisions are always made by adults, not children.
That raised another question: Why weren't the adults help her? Isn't children's well-being important? Isn't adults supposed to be responsible for children's well-being?
Maybe I'm not important.
Her fear of abandonment worsened, and she started brawling again. She was scared that her parents might abandon her, because adults doesn't care about things that are not important. They won't do that! They won't do that! She tried convincing and soothing herself in her mind, but it was all in vain.
Soon, a tall man with curly black hair walked up to her and told her to follow him. Emma didn't know if she could trust him or not, the books she'd read or the adults she trusted never told her what to do in this kinds of situations, so she's on her own to make a decision. She had two options: One, follow the man and risk her life-maybe, because who knew for sure if the man just wanted to help her; two, stay and continue crying like an idiot.
She chose the first option.
That was how she found herself in a dark computer room filled with kids. Her sobbing had yet to cease, and a few kids paid attentions to her, and came to comfort her. Not exactly: Some told her that her parents had abandoned her and caused her to cry more, and another girl told them off for that. Even though Emma knew they were probably joking-from the way some of them spoke, Emma noticed that they really hated their own parents for who knows what reasons-but she wasn't in the mental state to accept that as a joke.
As Emma stayed longer, she realized that the kids-some are older than herself, some are younger-were all verbally skilled and had great computer skill. She stayed curled up in the corner next to the door most of the time, peeking out from the dark room to the blinding bright outside once in a while (or once every minute or less), waiting for her parents to arrive. It felt like hours until her parents and older sister came to pick her up, Emma ran toward her family and hugged her mother, the mother she loved, feared, and hated at the same time.
The girl who defended Emma and had stayed with her almost the entire time doesn't bother following Emma. Which is weird.
She left with her family after that. Feeling guilty for making them worry and for causing her older sister to be scolded for not taking care of her.
She never knew the place she was kept in, and later found out that her parents and older sister had no recollection of that said place. They said that they just found her, crying and standing not anyway near a room or a door.
Despite this, Emma was sure that whatever happened when she was lost happened.