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Disney World Mayhem

by Leah Herr 2 years ago in humanity

A world is hard, but this Lesson will save you.

You will live a life, and prosper NEVER GIVE UP

I was at least six when we went to Disney World as a whole family. There were six of us, as we drove through at least six states to arrive. We started on January 4, 2008, and we saw some great sites as well as some other weird ones, like the creepy alien baby on the top of the red van. We stopped at Saint Louis gateway and saw the riverfront, and we got subway there, and I remember literally tripping and almost face planting with a cup of water, and my mom laughing so hard since it should be on America's funniest videos, and it was a wonder I didn’t spill any of my water either. After three days driving and two nights in hotels, we arrived in Florida, Walt Disney World Florida. We had a beautiful hotel. It was blue and bright, and everyone had their own room. It was a blessing for my two other siblings who had to share rooms at our house. We wanted to go so badly, but it was late so we had to sleep. I slept fine, I usually don’t have trouble sleeping unless I'm scared that something bad might happen. The first day we went to Hollywood studios and did quite a few things. We did Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, The Great Movie Ride, Pirates Of The Carribean, and many others. When we did the Tower of Terror for the first time, I was terrified. I hate the sensation of falling and I knew exactly that this was going to be it. My brother, being much younger than me, was not. He wanted to do it yet he barely met the height requirement. We laugh now, but then he literally flew up out of his seat. My mother was terrified he might just slip out the seat belt and float to the ceiling and injure himself. We did it a couple of more times before we went to the hotel for a dinner break and slept for the next day to come.

The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom. I was going to the first ride, where I stopped because someone ran right into me. I stopped to look at them with a cute glare, as any girl my age would. I looked back and froze. Where the heck did my family go? I panicked immediately and walked a little forwards but still no sign of them. I tried taking breaths as big as I could, but when I'm scared it is hard to know if your even breathing. I looked up at the people's faces to see if I could recognize Mom or Dad. They looked down at me with eyes of confusion. Panic arose in me even more when I knew I walked far enough that they could be anywhere. I sat and started to cry. I know I once told myself if I were to ever just disappear they wouldn’t miss me, But I didn’t mean it.

People rushed passed me trying to get in line for their rides, kids telling their parents to wait up for them. Why didn’t I do that? “Because,” the voice in my head said, “you weren’t fast enough. They just left you. Not caring a wit in the world ab... Shut up—” I interrupted my panicked mind. I took a deep breath in and looked up. I tried looking for colors that my family had when we left the hotel, but that didn’t help there were way too many people here to try to even consider that. I tried thinking about the ride we were headed to and see if I could find that. I wracked my brain and after what seemed like forever it clicked. Splash Mountain, that's where they were headed. I slowly got up, so my heavy teared up mind won’t collapse on me. I stretched, looked forward and started following signs that said Splash Mountain. I was getting hungry too, since it was getting close to lunch time. I stepped up my walking speed as I knew I was getting closer. I then saw it. The mountain everyone loves. Where you drop like its a cliff diving mission. I love it and would love to go on it but I first knew I had to get my family back first. I hurried to the line and started peering through it to see if I could spot anyone I recognized. I didn’t make it obvious I was line jumping, so I just asked people if they saw my Mom or Dad. I was looking for them because I lost them. Some had empathy, but others yelled at me for line jumping. One of them got a guard to come over and get me out. I struggled and told him I was trying to look for my family. He knelt in front of me and asked what they looked like. I told him Mom was wearing her usual black outfit, just with shorts. Dad had an orange Florida fishing shirt and tan shorts. I didn’t remember what my siblings were wearing. He nodded and grabbed his Wakitalkie. His voice was a little raspy as he told a guy there was another kid coming their way. He then said that parents were always losing their kids, and I felt a little better. At least I wasn’t alone.

The guard was holding my hand as he led me to the front building of Disney World. I had stopped crying and was going to do just as he said. He walked me into a front office and a young lady was at her desk behind a tall screen. I couldn’t see because I was kind of small. The guy leaned forward and told the woman another kid was found lost with no parents. The lady poked her head around the side of the desk. “Oh you poor thing, just put her with the rest of the kids I guess.” The rest of the kids? I thought to myself as I was led into another room. The guard let go of my hand and told me to stay here until further notice on my parents whereabouts. I nodded and smiled. “Thank you sir” he nodded and left the room. I turned around and saw at least ten kids. I tried to make myself at home, but it was kind of hard since I wanted to talk to someone but didn’t know how. Then someone spotted my eye. A kid, dressed in casual clothing and sitting all alone in the corner. You could barely see him throughout the kids playing right in front of him. Why doesn’t he play with them? I asked myself. I decided to go and sit with him. He sharply turned his head toward me as I sat. “What do you want?” he asked rudely.

I turned to him “Nothing, I'm just here because it looked like you were lonely.”

His face was set, then he smiled. A friendly smile. “Thank you, I kind of need that right now.”

We talked for what seemed like hours. I learned that he was an only child and he came with his aunt and uncle for a vacation. “Some vacation” I told him as he re-situated so he was sitting right in front of me. “I know right? I was just right next to them and then they vanished.” I nodded as he continued. He loves chocolate, bunnies, nighttime, he told me his mom passed away a year ago due to cancer, and his father kind of just handed him over to his aunt and uncle to take care of him. He was depressed for some time until he got a puppy. It was a shepherd mix with a little bit of boxer in it. I laughed as he described the story of how his dog chewed its way through his shower curtain at home.

I told him how I suffered a harsh childhood, I was a troublemaker and was grounded for some time. Couldn’t talk to anyone for almost a year. I tried to run a way twice, but both of them ended with the same result. It was either breakfast time or dinner time. It was just bad timing. But I almost succeeded the second time. I could have just ran, but I was caught, so I just stood there. I had too many animals die, ranging from fish, bunnies, hamsters, to dogs. I told him how I had a fish named Redrocks, and how he followed my finger and he would swim around quickly telling me it was feeding time. Two years later he died a painful death. I could just feel his pain as I watched him try to get to the surface to get air, then sink back down like a rock. I cried for an hour when he died. I told him how I got kicked out of my first school, since I was innocent, and yet I said an adult thing as loud as I could. It was almost evening when I finished telling him how I survived some of my childhood, and still continued moving forward. Never giving up even when things get so hard, sometimes you can’t move and you sit and cry for hours. Thoughts wrack your brain, saying you're not ok and you should die. But it’s the positive light that keeps you from doing that. I told him he shouldn’t ever give up since I never did. Even when he lost his aunt and uncle, but first his parents. I know it would be hard for someone like that. I know that I’m only six years old and things won’t get better from here. At least not right now, wounds have to hurt to heal and pain is just a part of that healing process.

It was then that two people came rushing into the room. We both sharply looked up at them. “Aunty, Uncle!!!” the boy cried. He stood up and froze. He looked at me “ I never told you my name.”

I shrugged “It’s ok, you don’t have to.” He laughed and hugged me and then ran to his family. I sat alone for another two hours. I thought about the boy, his mother actually didn’t die because she had cancer, she died on more serious causes. His father actually died too. His aunt and uncle were the last option. The boy told me that after I told him to never give up, even when things got hard. I was surprised I opened him up after those words. They were only here in Florida for his parent’s funerals. My parents found me here after what seemed like forever. I asked them if they missed me and they told me they were looking all over for me. I was unsure about that. Later when I was older I looked up how long it would take for a parent to find a kid lost in Disney World. Then it said at least two hours. Now it’s said to be thirty minutes. But it felt like it was seven hours for me. But I learned something that helped me when times got hard as I moved though my childhood years like a sloth. You're never alone when you struggle, you might be physically, but someone out there is hurting right there with you, wishing someone could connect them to the world and help them through their years of struggle. You can always do that when you see the opportunity, take it and you might just save a life like your own you’ve lived. As I learned when I turned seven was that “Everyone needs somebody to talk to”—John Reese, Person of Interest. I always say to people now: Try it, It’ll turn out better for both of you I promise.

Leah Herr
Leah Herr
Read next: My Adventure in Greece Part II
Leah Herr
See all posts by Leah Herr

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