My People

As I kid, I always loved going to fairs and it didn’t matter if it was a state fair, county fair, a fair in the mall parking lot.  I was obsessed with the food, the smells, the rides, everything about fairs had me hooked.  I begged my parents to take me whenever there was a fair nearby and sometimes they did, but more often than not, I had to ride my bike.  I never felt unsafe because I always knew that when I was at a fair, I was with my people. 

I loved fairs until the night I managed to fall asleep at the fairgrounds and wake up when everyone was gone.  All the lights were turned out and when I went to fetch my bike from behind the trees where I hid it, it was already gone.  I knew it would take me at least forty five minutes to walk home and that was when I was wearing actual sneakers.  With the sandals I had on, it would probably take me longer.  As I walked, I listened.  I had never been more aware of the noises that accompanied the growing darkness.   

The more I listened, the more aware I became of  how small and vulnerable I was.  The closer I came to home, my pace quickened.  When I ran in the front door, my parents hadn’t even noticed I was still gone.  I now knew I had to make sure I could take care of myself. 


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