Thursday, July 14, 2016


It happened so long ago I nearly forgot all about it...until I started to self-analyze why I have such a sour reaction to being taken somewhere against my will for more than an hour or so. Not stores or birthday parties or anything like that, but somewhere unfamiliar and far away from home. It's a part of adult life that most people can accept and deal with. I whine and complain about it like a child. And here's why...

I had made plans to sleep over a friend's house one night. We were in the same third grade class, though I'm not sure if it was during the school year or the summer after third. The details are quite fuzzy at this point; it was over twenty years ago, long before every nine year old had a smart phone. (and this explains why they should). I do remember my friend's name. I won't say it here, but it's the same as a recently deceased pop star.

I'm piecing the story together from snapshots, uncovered from the depths of my memory. In the first, I'm lying on his living room floor, in a sleeping bag perhaps. It's dark outside and inside, but for a small lamp light.

The next morning I'm in the backseat of his mother's car. I don't remember if he was up front or in back with me. All I know is she had plans to see a relative that day. What I didn't know was that her relative - sister, cousin, mother...whoever it was - lived in Hartford.

and I lived in the New Haven-Milford area

I had never been to Hartford before. I knew it was far away from home, and I knew the Whalers played there. But his family didn't strike me as the type to take me to a hockey game.

At some point I must have realized that I was two hours away from home, with no idea when I would return. My friend's mother could have brought me home before visiting family in Hartford. I do not know why she didn't. The only two possible explanations: my mother was not home at the time (unlikely, her schedule has always been flexible and what mother wouldn't rearrange her schedule in order to retrieve her 9 year old son?) or his mother simply had no regard for this child that wasn't hers. She would return me home when (if?) it was convenient for her. Which brings me to the next snapshot: I can vaguely recall her mother telling my mother exactly that.

That's when shit got scary. How am I going to get home? 

In the last snapshot my memory has saved from that incident, I'm walking with my friend outside what was likely a housing project. I must have passed a pay phone at one point because I remember feeling very nervous and upset that I couldn't call my mom. (I also remember feeling very cold, so it's possible this was during Winter Break and I didn't have an adequately warm coat. Can't be certain though.)

I don't remember when I got back home. As I recall, I spent the first day at my friend's house and the second day in that Hartford housing project - which leads me to believe I was under their "care" for well over 48 hours. I know my mother was contacted at least once, and I know that when I got back my friend felt terrible about the whole ordeal. We both knew I was never sleeping over again. 

In fourth grade I changed schools due to an unrelated incident of adolescent trauma, so I never saw those people again. I knew I was being held against my will (and my mother's) but until I reflected on it as an adult I never fully realized that I had been kidnapped.



  1. I can't believe your parents didn't call the police. Even my absent parents might have noticed if I disappeared for 2 days.
    (....actually no, they probably wouldn't have, but my nanny would.)

    It's crazy, when I first read this my initial thought was, "well that's not so bad." Then I realized that most children probably didn't spend their childhoods constantly being handed off to unfamiliar adults and getting so used to it I never questioned where I was going or for how long...

    That's a terrifying thing to happen to an eight-year-old. I'm glad you came out of it relatively unscathed. Might make for a good short story if you ever felt like using it for inspiration? Some good out of something bad.

    1. I know my mom was very angry, and I know she contacted the other mom. Was that enough to convince her I was okay and the cops weren't needed? I really cant say. But if I hadn't returned on day three I'm assuming she would have done something.

  2. Wtf you have to be a cold hearted bitch to put a child through that. I'm assuming she eventually took you guys back?
    Obviously you're never sleeping over again!! LOL
    Karma's a bitch only when you are, and that bitch has it coming.

    1. Yeah, I got back home eventually, though I dont remember how or when. I almost didnt post this story in part because I had forgotten so much about it. I dont remember going anywhere besides Hartford so its not like they went about their lives and just dragged me along (other than that one day)

    2. You were pretty young, but damn...

  3. what? i cannot imagine how it's like to wake up one day and you're in one place, and the second day, and you're in a vehicle going somewhere else? yikes.

    oh my god, what the hell? that must've been bloody horrifying. especially for a child!

    i'm the same with Mich about police. however, if it was my mum though, she would've torn the other lady in two halves. she would've gotten the whole of Bahrain involved, and maybe even the rest of the GCC countries.

    ^also agree with Mich if you ever feel like using it for a short story. something good out of something bad as she said.

    hope you have a good day xx

    -Sam Lupin

    1. It wasnt like she blindfolded me and threw me in the back of an unmarked van. I think she just said that we have to go to the kid's relative's house for a visit, and I was like whatever (cause i'm nine), and once we left my hometown I was like Uh...where are we going? That's when it got scary, yes. Honesly, I'm not even certain I stayed the night in Hartford. Maybe I was returned at night on day 2? Everything seems more urgent when you're a young lad - though that was still a whole day more than they were allowed to keep me.

      You're from bahrain? I used to read a blog that was Banned in bahrain...for no particular reason.

      I planned to read your post last night...but the wife wanted to bicker about family finances and so I had to call it an early night. Today though!

      have a great weekend xx

  4. How odd. I would have gone nuts if someone took my child. Definitely would have called the police. My mom, on the other hand, would have yelled at me for not figuring out how to get home.


    1. I really wish I knew why my mom didn't call the police...but I'm afraid to ask. Plus she probably doesn't remember the incident any better than I do :/

  5. Kidnapped! Really? That's just horrible! How scary the uncertainty you felt so young. That's not a good feeling. At least your story had a good ending. You did make it back home. Hopefully, time will erase these bad vibes from your mind.

    1. They almost did...figures I had to go and re-remember it. Ah well. It was definitely a scary feeling, but it couldn't have been too too bad if my mom didn't get the cops involved.