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Alyssa M. Drew

Lost Little Boy

By: Alyssa M. Drew

It was a warm evening at the end of summer and all the kids in the neighborhood were outside playing. My father's three children, Charlie, Kassi and Danny, were all out riding bikes. My grandmother came by around five o'clock and wanted to go take a ride to Costco to pick up food for the house. My stepmother, Jackie, agreed to accompany her and the two younger children immediately said they would be going as well.

Jackie then went into the house to tell my father's friend George, who was staying with them, to keep an eye on my brother Charlie while she was gone. George said it was no problem and Jackie walked out of the house.

At around six thirty, George walked to the front door to see what Charlie was doing. He had been riding his bike earlier and George expected to just peek out and return to his seat in the living room once he saw Charlie ride by. But George did not see Charlie. George saw the girls across the street and the boys from down the block, but Charlie was no where in sight. He began asking everyone he saw where Charlie was and if they'd seen him, but everyone was oblivious to the fact that Charlie had even left the group.

A half an hour passed by and George became very nervous. At this time my father happened to come home early. He had made plans with his boss to go out after work, but the two had decided to just go back to the house and hang out with the family. My father entered the house to find George frantic and extremely apologetic. He just kept saying, "Panch, I'm so sorry I lost your son. He was here. I can't find him."

My father thought it unreal and began searching the house, yard, and street. He questioned the kids in the neighborhood and ran up and down the block yelling my brother's name. The neighbors began to come out of their houses and look as well. No one had seen him come or go since earlier that afternoon. Now panicked that my brother had been missing for at least an hour, my father called Jackie's job. (She works for Staten Island Task Force). He asked them to send a car over.

Within ten minutes there were between five and ten cars on the block. The officers started with a search of the house and yard. They questioned neighbors, got a description of my brother, and called to have air patrol begin. The cars were getting ready to disperse to do a radial search of the neighborhood and surrounding areas as Jackie turned down the block. She was shocked to see so many police cars at the top of the block.

As she drove up the street, neighbors stood outside their homes and just stared at the car. She stopped when she saw her friend and quickly asked what was happening. The only response was a snappy, "Oh I'm not sure," as the women walked into her own home. No one wanted to be the one to tell this woman that her ten-year old son was missing.

My father saw the car approaching the house and briskly made his way towards her to ensure he was the first one she spoke to. He leaned in her open window and looked at her, and she quickly demanded of him to answer her questions. Shocked and worried she asked, "Why are all these police outside our house?"

"They're looking for your son!"

It will forever be unknown what happened that day. But my father's answer has made everyone laugh since that night. Because when he leaned in the car he saw out of the corner of his eye, in the back seat, my brother Charlie sitting in the car with packages of food on his lap. Either George was too preoccupied watching television or no one told him, but in any case Charlie had gone with my grandmother and Jackie to the store. All the worry, searching, and police activity had been done due to a miscommunication amongst the family.

The retelling of this story goes on today, even though a few years have passed. It was actually told to my boyfriend last weekend, which inspired me to share it with you today. My father now makes sure he knows exactly which children are leaving the house and where the other children are before the car is off the block. I often tease him while he asks a million and one questions because there was the one time we all remember quite well, when lack of talking left everyone in a panic.