Sisterly Love

It was a cloudy day as I walked up the hill, my hand loose around my sisters arm. “Okay Ainsley. I need to get home to do homework so you’ll only have a little while to play today.” I say as I carefully tie her shoe and help her take off her sweater. “Okay thanks Tay Tay!” She said as she ran down the hill squealing joyfully and I sat down on the nearby bench.

Ainsley went back and forth on the monkey bars, played tag with random children, and slid down the slide. A mother came up to me and we had a small conversation about high school and she told me about her high school experiences. We talked for about 10 minutes and I look up, but Ainsley is nowhere to be found. “Sorry I have to get my sister.” I say trying to stay calm, out of fear of looking irresponsible. “Ains!” I yell and shift uncomfortably on my feet, my fingers nervously fiddle with my skirt. “Ainsley!” I say in a hushed panicked tone as I step onto the wood chips and scan eagerly for her. The boy in the orange shirt that my sister was playing with earlier races by me and I grab his arm gently. “Hey! Do you know where my sister is?” I try not to look threatening, but I’m sure my panicked face made him nervous. “Stranger danger!” He yells, but he has missing front teeth so it comes out, “Thranger Danger!” His mom, the woman I was talking to earlier comes over, “Calm down Darby. She’s not a stranger she was just asking a question hun.” She reassures him and I pull my other backpack strap on. “What’s the matter hun?” She says while ushering her son off to continue playing and her face forming a motherly concerned face. “M-My sister, she’s not on the playground. I-I just looked up for 2 seconds and she’s gone!” I croak out my words and my eyes form tears. “It’s okay. Kids run off all the time, I should’ve left you to watch your sister instead of talking to you, I’m sorry.” I look down at her jacket and a tear falls onto it. “It’s okay. I just need to find Ainsley. Can you check the playground for her? She’s wearing a yellow sundress with yellow ballerina shoes. Dark brown hair and light brown eyes, f-f-freckles. Super cute freckles.” I swivel on my heel and frantically race around for her, I check the parking lot first. If she got taken I’d at least be able to see the kidnapper and the car, I think as my feet pound the black asphalt furiously. Don’t think like that, I tell myself, Ainsley knew not to wander. She was the least likely child to be taken, right? She wouldn’t follow an adult, but she would follow a child. My heart beat quickens and I feel it stomping around furiously in my chest. Children can be bait for kidnappers, why didn’t I think of that? I scan the parking lot, it was rather small. I check between all the cars, I look in them, no sign of her. My heart sends me back past the playground into the woods and that’s when I see it. A piece of yellow string caught on a tree branch. I almost pass out, I couldn’t let my sister be taken. I wouldn’t. I’d never forgive myself.

My feet and heart send my feet flying down the forest path, yelling Ainsley at the top of my lungs. I hear laughter, Ainsley’s laughter and I send myself down that path. “Ainsley! Ainsley! Ainsley! Oh gosh answer me Ains!” I’m desperate and emotionally exhausted, but I wouldn’t stop then. Not when my Ainsley’s life is on the line. There I see her, giggling while a boy who’s about my age is squatted down to her level. He’s rubbing her knee and now instead of anguish, I feel rage. My fists ball and I lunge towards him, hands flying everywhere. “You get away from my sister you creep! Don’t-“ I hit him, “Touch-“ I wildly beat his back as he’s doubled over, “My sister!” I push him down and scoop Ainsley up into a defensive stance. “Tay! He helped me because I tripped in the woods with Carson! He told me a funny joke!” She laughs, and if I hadn’t been so relieved to see her alive, I might’ve laughed too.

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