One afternoon is all it took for me to realise that my mind was loaded with false images of my community.

Things are not always as good as they seem. The houses that queued along the main road added some beautiful colours to the picture. The birds that sang and the dogs that barked brought a feeling of freedom. The fresh air that blew the tips of my hair fed my mind with a sense of safety and security.

It was on a Friday afternoon when I was on my way back from school that a car occupied by four men decided to stop next to me. One of them took out a paper with an address on it, asking if I knew that place. I didn’t even attempt to think about it as I had told myself never to entertain strangers again, I just said I had no idea. I’ve come across a lot of lions hiding in sheep’s skin.

My instincts spoke but my hard-headed self did not listen. “Run!” But my stubborn legs kept strolling. It is important to listen to that inner voice sometimes, because it can save you from stepping into danger ground.
I had to learn that the hard way.

One man opened the door. Within a blink of an eye I felt paws grabbing my waist so tight I couldn’t even breath. Next thing my legs were in the air and my world was moving backwards. It was a moment of hoping for the impossible, that perhaps the trees could just save me.

He threw me into the boot like cheap baggage and shut the lid like he never wanted it to open again. My world became so dark, I couldn’t even see my hand right in front of my eyes. I didn’t know, maybe they were not open.

No matter how bad a situation may be, embracing it has never been an option. I had to think of a plan. While my mind was wandering and digging for solutions, it landed on the phone I had in my pocket. The first number I could think of, my mother’s number. Luckily she answered and I could tell her that I was thrown in a boot. Sadly, I didn’t know the kind of car, or its colour, or the people inside it, or where we were, or even going to.

In life you have to try, try, try, and try, so that when you fail you won’t have regrets, knowing that you tried. I found the call useless and it just inflicted pain on my dearest mother. An hour hadn’t even passed and I already had a plus-one problem. I was struggling to breath.

For a minute I felt so stupid as I thought about GPS, but I had no extra minute to waste. I turned on my phone’s location option and sent it to my mother, and that’s where it ended.

Unknown happenings hurt, but finding out that the results are good, is the best thing ever. I opened my eyes and in front of me was a blurry picture of my mother’s face. It felt like a dream. I used my hands to clear my eyes and figured that it was real. I was still alive.

I still love my community. Being kidnapped just showed me a side of it that I didn’t know. I’ve learnt too, that no matter how much you may love something, you always have to look over your shoulder to see if you’re safe.