Gone

The first time I disappeared, I was six. One moment, I was sitting at the table eating spaghetti with my family, the next moment I was gone. Just like that; now you see me, now you don’t.

At first, my family thought I was pulling some kind of prank. They searched the house from top to bottom, ready to ground me for interrupting dinner with my shenanigans. By the time they realised I really was missing, they were frantic. They were just about to call the cops when I showed back up in my seat, with no knowledge of where I’d been or even of having been gone at all.

The second time I disappeared, I was ten. I was sitting in the library, reading Harry Potter to a bunch of little kids, when suddenly I wasn’t. The kids I was reading to panicked. They were convinced I was kidnapped by Voldemort. When I reappeared half an hour later, they were still there, balling their eyes out.

The third time I disappeared, I was thirteen. I was taking a Maths test and, when the teacher saw me gone, he thought I was wagging. It was last period when it happened, so by the time I reappeared, the school was empty except for the cleaners. I was given a week’s worth of detention and a fail mark on my test.

The fourth time I disappeared, I was fifteen. My mates and I were swimming at Bondi Beach. When they couldn’t find me anywhere, they thought I got caught in a rip and drowned. When I showed up three hours later, my friends were sobbing on the beach while lifeguards and choppers searched the ocean for my body.

The fifth and sixth times I disappeared, I was sixteen and I was gone for seven hours and three days respectively. I didn’t get into any trouble. I think my parents finally realised it isn’t my fault.

The seventh time I disappear might be the last. It might not. Even if it isn’t, the next time might be, or the time after that. I’m scared. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I am seventeen years old and terrified I won’t see eighteen.

I have no idea where I go when I disappear, or what happens when I am there. Is it good? Is it bad? Am I in paradise or hell? Or do I simply not exist at all? It is happening more often now, and lasting longer every time it happens. How many more times can it happen before I don’t come back?

I am afra

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This week’s prompt was ‘I was six years old the first time I disappeared …‘ from Lilydale High School.

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2 thoughts on “Gone

  1. Oh well, if I hadn’t read the last three lines of your post…I’d almost convinced my self that you were the Margo Roth Spiegelman of real life. I hope you know who she is 😉

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