In a Space of Panic


She’s been firing all kinds of questions at me, a mile a minute, most of which i had no answer to cos i could barely hear them. From my mutters and hmmmms and meaningless hand movements, she must’ve guessed i was tired! Exhausted would be the word. I had had the most hectic day ever!

“You tired, Mummy?”
“Yes, baby...”
“I go outside and play with my brother?”
“Yes, baby!” Relief!
I must’ve been reaaaallly tired cos I never let them play outside. But within minutes, i heard her happy voice cackle in excitement and i relaxed. She’s happy; I’ve been blissfully left alone...all is well in my world. I drifted off to sleep!

It would be a few minutes before it registered that i wasn’t hearing her laughs anymore. Maybe they came back inside, i thought. I made to settle back into that restful sleep but something niggled. And so i stood and peeped outside. No daughter. Just the brother playing with a couple more friends and the househelp standing a distance back, fiddling with her phone.

“Where’s Zi?”, I called out.
The help started. “She’s h... she was...”
...gone. Zi was nowhere!
At first, i wasn’t panicked. Ok, maybe just a little. She’s the really outgoing child, friendly to a fault. Cute trait sometimes, but not and now. What if she had willingly followed a kidnapper out? Hush, i chided myself. Can’t be bringing negative energy this early in the game. However, as the evening gave way to night, the whole neighbourhood searched with a fine comb and no Zi, i hit rock bottom!