Waking up from a nightmare one night, I looked at the watch next to my bed as it said, “3:00 AM.” My heart was still racing from the unpleasant scenes in my dream, where my eight-year-old daughter had left to play with her friend. Playing together, they made towards a forest, with no sign of them until sundown. I ran to the woods, calling for my daughter. I experienced a terrible pain that night of my daughter being alone and lost in the woods. As my heart refused to slow down, I went in to my daughter’s room to check on her while she slept. She responded to my kiss on her forehead as she cuddled herself back to sleep.

Coming back to my bed, I realized that the nightmare was in fact a reminder of my past. That little girl was no one else but me myself.

This was an event from a time when I was around seven years old. I was out playing a game of ‘hide and seek’ with my elder brother and his friends. Everyone was playing their parts in the game. I was playing the cop out to catch everyone. They all disappeared into a forest to hide and later on to a hill where I spotted them. Tricking me, they snuck out and left me all alone. It took a while for me to realize that I was all by myself. I called out to my brother and his friends. I climbed down the hill, trying to follow where they may have gone. As I came down, I re-entered an eerie quiet jungle.

The beauty of the hill I was on, and many more around me in the middle of a jungle, mesmerized me. For a few moments, I forgot all about being alone. Reality of being a lost soul struck me, after I was over relishing the beauty of nature. Amid tall hills around me, I felt like a tiny creature.

I climbed up yet another hill that was right in front of the one I came down from. Going atop, I mapped out the route to my home, which I could see clearly now. A familiar and giant rock near my house was the landmark that caught my eye. Marking the route in my mind, I climbed down the hill and followed a mental direction towards the big rock. I thanked God, and asked him to bless the big rock, without which I probably would have never gotten back to my family.

When I came back home that evening, I realized that no one asked where I had been while I was missing in the woods across the hills. However, I was happy that after the nearly six hours struggle; I was home safe and sound. I couldn’t tell anyone about this back then, but that night, I thanked the universe and God that I was back home and unhurt. 

Thank you, universe, for protecting me.

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