The day after ‘it’ happened, everyone thought I had performed a miracle. I didn’t know if I should tell them the reality of the situation or not. Had they not seen the same thing I had? Did they not realize I had nothing to do with the ‘finding’ the missing child? I had stumbled across the young man because I knew where he had been staying. I knew where he had been staying because I had suggested the place. So it wasn’t really a surprise to either of us that I was the one who had found him.
Darren came from a home where I knew he wasn’t safe. But being only fourteen, I thought he was too young to be out on his own, but he also couldn’t stay at home with his parents. I knew what it was like not to feel safe so I helped Darren to find a place to stay at least for the time being. I hadn’t thought too far ahead about the repercussions of him being listed as missing, but it turned out, his parents didn’t realize for several days he hadn’t actually been home. After showing Darren the loft he could sleep in for a few days while my parents were working, I brought some food by and left him to figure out what he was going to do next. I had seen him around town and at school and knew he had likely been left to his own devices for a while.
I saw him around school so I at least knew he was still going for the most part, but I did wonder what he was doing when he left. When he finally emerged from the loft two weeks after he ‘disappeared’ he was almost a different person. He had gained a little weight and had a shine in his eyes that hadn’t been there before. If I had known know what he was planning to do, I would have gone with him.