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someone tried to kidnap me in the zoo. it was probably because i had blond hair. no one has
blond hair in this country. the man smiled at me and said he wanted to take a picture of me.
then he grabbed me by the waist and started walking hurriedly. luckily one of my teachers
was there and screamed at him to let me go. he smiled as if embarrassed and put me back on
the ground. the other kids from my class came running in and made a circle around me to
protect me. they thought it was funny. i thought it was funny. the gravity of the thing didn’t
really hit me until i came back home. he could have raped and killed me if he had his way.
who knows what would’ve happened? i told mum and dad and they were shocked. they
banned me from going on any more school trips for the rest of the year as if it was my fault. i
asked them why should i be punished but they told me it was better to be safe. i cried and
went to my room. i wish i had never told them. now i can’t go to the zoo anymore with my
friends. zoo is like my favourite place because you get to see all the different animals. i told
my friends i couldn’t go to the zoo anymore and they couldn’t understand why. i told them
what mum and dad said: that it was better to be safe. they still couldn’t understand. the next
day when i went to school everyone looked at me differently. even the teachers treated me
differently. they were all nice to me and checking in to see if i was okay. even the girls for the
first time went up to me and started speaking to me. they thought it was cool i was almost
kidnapped. i played the part and told them i could have died if he had caught me. they said
wow and told me i was brave. i felt good. my friends at breaktime let me make all the
decisions: they let me pick the teams and decide what to play. if anyone objected they said i
was almost kidnapped yesterday so i get to choose. that shut them up. by the end of the day
the teacher that saved me asked me how i was doing. i told her i was doing well and i thanked
her. she smiled. when i got home i thought this whole kidnapping thing isn’t so bad. okay i
don’t get to go on school trips anymore but everyone is being super nice to me. even the girls
are speaking to me now. i looked back at yesterday and remembered how my friends had
encircled me to protect me. i know it was just for fun but i still liked how they were all
protecting me. mum asked me how i was doing and i told her i was fine. she told me that if i
was not feeling fine i could talk to someone and that it was okay and that i should not be
ashamed if i get scared. i told her i didn’t need to speak to someone because i was fine. she
looked at me strangely and said okay. she then asked me what i wanted to have for dinner
and she could make something special. i told her whatever she was making was fine by me
and i would eat it anyways. she kept looking at me strangely as i went up to my room. why
was everyone asking me if i was okay? i didn’t get kidnapped did i? i played some lego until
dad came home from work. he asked me if i wanted to take a walk with him for a bit which
was strange because he never asked me to do that before. i said sure and we went outside. it
was getting dark and the sun was setting. we were walking around the park when dad told
me: ‘you know if you wanna change school or move back home, i understand…’. i told him
why would i wanna move back to France? he said nothing. when we got back home mum had
made some french fries and chicken nuggets and a cake. it was as if it was my birthday. as i
ate mum and dad kept looking at me strangely. dad told mum: ‘he probably doesn’t
understand…’. i didn’t know what that meant but i kept eating. i was scared that if i asked
mum and dad would get angry with me. everyone was being nice to me; i didn’t wanna break
that spell. the next day when i got to school everyone was calling me ‘kidnapped boy’. i liked
it because it gave me an identity. however not everyone was paying attention to me like
yesterday. the girls weren’t speaking to me anymore. the teachers were treating me just like
any other student again. i wasn’t the special kid anymore. however my friends were still super
excited about my event and said that we should go back to that spot in the zoo to see if the
guy is still there. i said yes because i liked the way they were all excited about it. we all agreed
to meet after school outside the front gates. there we would walk to the zoo. i would have to
miss my school bus home but i knew how to walk back from the zoo. when the classes ended
and the bell rang i looked at my friend Yohann and smiled. he smiled too because he knew it
was time to go. we put our books in our bags and ran outside towards the front gates. when
we arrived the others were already waiting for us. they screamed when they saw us come.
we all started walking to the zoo. it was a very hot day: the sun was shining on us and glaring
down at us. we were all sweating so we took our school blazers off and wore only our shirts
underneath. we were walking fast and talking the whole way through. Alex was saying how if
we see the guy we should punch him and kick him then run away. Mason was saying how
instead we should ask him why he tried to kidnap me. was he gonna rape and murder me like
on television? no one asked me for my opinion though. even though we were walking fast
and talking wildly we were still careful when we crossed the roads. we waited until there were
no more cars and it was safe to walk and we looked both sides before crossing just like our
parents had taught us. just before we entered the zoo Alex stopped us and showed us a knife
from his bag. he said it was just a precaution. Yohann asked him where he had gotten it and
he said from the kitchen. it was quite big and shiny and i don’t think it was made to stab
people. once we entered the zoo all my friends went around me in a circle so that i was in the
middle again. they looked around and stayed close to me so that i could not be kidnapped
again. i smiled inside. i was happy that so many people cared about me. i also felt important
like a movie star with all his bodyguards. once we reached the spot no one was there. we
waited for twenty minutes and still the guy didn’t come. i was getting kind of sad and wanted
the guy to come so the others would be excited again. i could tell they wanted him to come
too. at some point Mason saw a police line and a police officer behind the back. Alex went up
to him and asked him what happened because he was the only one who could speak
Taiwanese. the police officer told him that someone had been arrested here and that we
should go back to our parents. after another twenty minutes we decided to leave. it was
already getting dark and the zoo would close soon. we were all disappointed that the guy
hadn’t come but we all promised to try again tomorrow. on my way back home i walked with
Yohann for a bit and before we separated he called me ‘kidnapped boy’ again. i smiled and
walked the whole way back with happiness. when i got back home however mum and dad
were waiting for me and said they had gotten a call from Mason’s mother that we had all
gone to the zoo. they shouted at me and said i couldn’t see my friends anymore and every
day after school i had to go straight home. i started to cry and then mum calmed down a bit
and asked me why i wanted to go to the zoo again. i said because i wanted to see the guy and
ask him why he wanted to kidnap me. i then told her it made me feel good to see all my
friends excited and protective over me. she grounded me to my room and said she would
speak to me later. dad was still at the back with his hands over his head. i could tell he was
still angry. when i went to my room i cried some more. i thought it was unfair that i was being
punished when i didn’t do anything wrong. i then heard a knock on the door and mum came
in. she was much more relaxed and i knew she was gonna be more kind to me. i was happy it
wasn’t dad because he wasn’t as gentle with me and sometimes he would scream when he
got annoyed and i would cry. i remember one time he tried to teach me algebra but i didn’t
learn nothing because i was crying the whole time. algebra is hard anyways. my mother sat
me down and said that they had been extremely worried while i was gone and feared i
might’ve gotten kidnapped again and they thought about calling the cops until Mason’s
mother had called. i told her sorry because i really was sorry. she said it was okay but that i
should never do something like that ever again without telling her beforehand. i said okay.
she then told me i should speak to dad later on because he was still upset. she said he wants
to move us back to France but she is trying to convince him otherwise. i screamed and said i
wanted to stay here but she said he is just worried about your safety and she will speak to
him. then she gave me a long hug and i cried in her arms and this made me feel a bit better.
when she left i stayed in my room shocked. i couldn’t play lego because i was too worried we
would have to move so i just sat there doing nothing. it was raining outside and the rain was
hitting the window. this made me feel snug and cosy and made me forget everything for a
while. then i got a message from Yohann on my phone saying: ‘hey, are you grounded too?’.
i told him yes and that i might leave the country soon. he asked me why and i said i don’t
know. then he said he was sad and i said me too. mum came in and said i should apologise to
dad now. i got out of the room towards the living room and i was still a bit scared he would
shout at me. i told him in a weak voice i was sorry and then he asked me why which surprised
me a bit. i panicked inside. i was scared to get the wrong answer and then he would make me
move and i would have to leave my friends. after a few seconds i told him i was sorry because
i had left without asking your permission and i should tell you everything beforehand. he
smiled and said ‘good’. then i asked him if we would still have to leave the country and he
said: ‘i’m still thinking about it’. then i told him not all Taiwanese were like him and maybe he
just wanted to take a picture of me like the others but wanted to bring me somewhere to do
it. dad raised his hand which meant i had to shut up now. he didn’t want to listen to me. then
he sent me back to my room. when i got back to my room i started to become angry and
started to hate the guy who tried to kidnap me. for the first time i wished it had never
happened not because it was bad or i was scared for my safety but because now there was a
chance i was gonna move back to France because of him. i punched my pillow pretending it
was his face and inside i called him a ‘villain’. he was not my friend anymore.


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