I used to have parents who believed in free range parenting; letting me go off and explore without them hawk eyeing me. And, as a child, I loved that my parents weren't overprotective. How I wish things were different, and I would still have my left eye. How I wish, my parents held me close during my childhood, and I wouldn't feel as if I'm being watched every day. Let me begin.
Despite being eight, I was still fascinated by everything. I loved being able to be out and about, feeling as if the whole world was my playground. I had a few friends, who had the luxury of free range parents as well. Things were fun for a long time. Until one of my friends went missing.
Alexia, was her name, hadn't come home, and at the time, I wasn't worried because I'd get caught up in having fun that I came home a little late as well (there were a few parks in our area, and I usually tried to visit them all whenever I was out.) Her parents weren't really worried at first, but as it started getting dark out, they were getting nervous, as was I. While our parents believed we weren't meant to have restrictions in our early childhood, curfew was a must. They wouldn't be too happy to see me returning after being missing for a night.
Alexia's parents called the police after it turned into 11 o'clock. The police were suspicious of why they didn't call sooner, and their explanation didn't seem to move the police too much, so they were dragged away while the hunt for Alexia started.
The next morning, Alexia's parents called to tell my parents they had found her, and I was happy, but then my parents told me to get out of the room. When I came back in, my parents told me I wasn't going to be able to see Alexia anymore, and I wondered why, but I didn't question it.
Despite what happened, my parents still let me roam. From going to the market by myself, to even getting on the bus to go to school. And everything seemed to go on fine. My ninth birthday came and passed, and now I was gearing up to be what my parents had said a "young lady". So, I decided to act like it, pretending to be grown up whenever I could, using the excuse that I'm a young lady, although I never had to use it often since I was allowed to do a lot.
One day I was walking to school, being the "young lady" that I was, and a van pulled up. There were no buildings around the path that I was walking, so I thought it was out of gas. A pretty woman stepped out and asked me if I wanted a ride to school. I kindly told her no, because despite how pretty she looked, the one rule parents enforced was don't accept anything from strangers.
She had gotten a sad look on her face, like she was going to cry, and said, "But a little girl shouldn't be walking alone." I replied that I am a young lady, and that I could walk by myself. She got a little red in the face and asked, "Why don't you have some candy then?" Again, I told her no. But she wasn't happy with that.
She started looking more mean, to the point where it scared me, scared me to the point where I didn't notice the gas until too late. I felt sleepy, ready to pass out, but not before I heard, "It could have been avoided, if you had just said yes."
I woke up in a dark place, scared out of my mind. This wasn't school, not home, not anywhere I knew. Where could I be? I tried to move but something was holding my hands and feet. The lights were on suddenly, and I could see the woman come out of the shadows, only to be holding giant tweezers, or so I thought at the time. There were two other kids, one was moving, but the other wasn't. I wondered if he was sleep, but he never woke up when the woman slapped him. She said, "This little piggy must sleep. Don't worry my little piggies, you won't wake him no matter how much you scream."
She walked up to the other kid, who was crying, looked him in the eye as she said, "This little piggy screamed too much when I took him home. Children should be seen and not heard. Have you heard of that one, little piggy?" He shook his head, to which she responded, "Well, let me show you what I mean."
She took a giant pair of scissors, and told him to hold out his tongue. He obeyed, and I wish he didn't. She cut his tongue and all I could hear was his screaming. He wouldn't stop, and my ears were hurting from hearing him. "Oh dear", she said, "I might have made it worse. Well, let me fix that for you." But he stopped screaming, and he stopped moving like the other kid.
"Well shoot. I can't use his eyes either." She turned to me. "What about yours?" She walked towards me with the tweezers she had before, and jammed them into my left eye. Agony, so much pain as she pulled the tweezers out along with my eye. My mouth was fixated in a scream so piercing it made the woman drop my eye. I couldn't stop crying, my eye was gone, and the pain felt so bad.
But someone heard me. They heard my screaming and came in to rescue me. The woman was nowhere to be found, but I was saved. After that day my parents had kept me close my whole childhood. And I didn't mind, sometimes I was mad at them for even letting someone my age be so adventurous. I stayed inside, afraid of the unknown, or outside. Later in my teen years, my fears were worsening to the point where I couldn't even look outside anymore. I had to relearn how to be outside, and it took a while, but I was to the point where I could tolerate it again.
Lately, I feel as if I'm being followed. Everyday last week, I've seen her from the corner of my eye, older, more menacing. I decided to stay in this week, do some chores, I'd been putting off, and a friend's mother is coming by. I hear a knock and check through the peephole.
No, it couldn't be, I tell myself. It isn't her. I'm just paranoid. I open the door to let her in, and she comes in and locks it. She's just being nice I thought, figuring my friend informed her of the ordeal I went through. She put her purse on the bag and says, "So, my little piggy, we never did finish."