I remember how my mom got lost when I was six.
My mom took me and my brother to the countryside. We went there every summer so the road was pretty familiar. We would take a local train and an hour later arrive at the station to catch a bus that would bring us to the destination point, a little town at the lake where we would spend holidays.
That day started like always. We climbed up the train with all those bags my mom packed. For an hour we stared through the window at the green fields and forests passing by. Close to the end of the trip I had a strong wish to go to the bathroom. My mom said, “Go, it’s in the end of the carriage.” She stayed sitting with my three-year-old brother.
Today it’s impossible to imagine how a minor could be left alone, even for a second. But I was born in pre-historic times when nobody heard of pedophilia or illegal organ traffick, at least my mom didn’t. So I went to the bathroom and saw it was closed. I wanted to pee very badly so I decided to check the bathroom in the next carriage where I went and happily did what I had to. Meanwhile the train stopped. I looked out of the window and recognized the station. We arrived. I rushed back to our carriage and didn’t find my mom. The train moved when I saw her standing on the platform surrounded by all the bags and holding my brother in her arms. The same moment she saw me in the window of the departing train. My mom was totally lost.
I was six years old. I knew how to read, knew the name of our station, understood the concept of direction, and luckily, in the earlier travelling bustle, my mom left the train schedule in my pocket. So I did simple math. I had to get down at the next station, wait for the train that would go back in five minutes and take it. I wasn’t scared; I had a plan and knew what to do. My only fear was to meet a train supervisor who could ask, “Where’s your ticket, girl?” I knew I would not have any and was afraid to get arrested. I was lucky, I didn’t meet the train supervisor, and ten minutes later I was already next to my mom telling her that it was easy to find her. My mom didn’t let my hand go all the rest of that day.