How many times you read headlines about children missing in pasar malam? How many of you had the 'unfortunate opportunity' to experience these written headline by yourselves? It was a sickening news of the reality that the world we live in is not secured and i had forbid myself from reading the rest of the stories whenever i saw one.
Somehow i get a glimpse of myself as one of the mother, that her missing child has become the news headlines in our local newspapers, with plea to return my girl back to me. A short experience that leave me thinking that our chances to live happily ever after will never be ours. The world spin around when within few second i turn my back on Sarah and she was gone.
She was walking right beside me, but she's stop at a stall selling some balloons and toys, while i proceed to the car put down my purchases, pull out the keys, unlatched the back door, and the same time calling her to come to the car. The balloons stall just across the not so wide road, where i parked my car. Less than 10 steps away. No rustling bustling consumer, just like the picture here.
My purchases still on the ground, yet to be loaded, i turn around to make sure Sarah follow me back to the car, but i couldn't see her. I called her again, and look around franctically but she did not answer me, and i still did not see her anywhere. I start screaming calling her name and all nearby vendors start asking me who i was looking for. The auntie who's selling the balloons and toys said she saw sarah looking at her balloons just moments ago, the other vendor also confirmed had seen sarah walking with me earlier. And everyone who heard me start looking around too.
I saw another orange livina park a bit further away, i ran towards the car, thinking maybe Sarah were waiting at the wrong car but she's not there. I looked into the the deep drain, and she's not there. No vehicles rushing in suspicious ways. I ran back to the pasar malam, and on the 4th stall, a vendor ask me to confirmed the girl they saw wearing black shirt and blue skirt is my daughter and i said yes. He said they found her at the back of the 5th stall. I rush to the back and saw her walking and crying with a lady vendor.
I was shaking, my knees want to give away, my heads was acting like a wide screen flat tv displaying memories and potential unfortunate events if Sarah was really missing from our life. Will i ever forgive myself, will i be able to answer to cekpen?
While hugging and carrying Sarah to the car, i still can't believe what just happen. I took sometime to calm sarah and myself before loading my purchases into the car and drive home. While i was still recovering from the 'close call', the auntie who's selling the balloons knock the my window and try to talk to me, telling me that similar case had happen a week before, in front her stall, and that child was missing from around 6pm to 8pm. She said she do not know if the child has been found or not. Speechless.
While counting my blessing that Sarah's case was not about physco-phedo-kidnaper maniac, my securities awareness increase ten fold. There certainly a lot of room for improvement and measures that can be taken. For instance, ignore sarah plea to go to pasar malam with me unless i have another person who can keep an eye for her (mina and awish too). The harness that was used when we were out with darwish when he was younger can be another way to keep sarah within a meter away.
Anyway, 'shits' happen (in harsh), 'malang tidak berbau', qada dan qadar, a lot of other means to place things into perspective but when it happen, i don't think it was that easy to just forgive and forget especially to yourself.