I walked to and from my elementary school, which was about a kilometer from home, along sand streets.

On one particular summer day, I was walking home by myself. With my school case in hand, I kicked empty cans along the street and skipped stones across the sand, entertaining myself.

Lost in the fantasy world of my mind, I bent over to pick up a stone. From between my legs, I could see everything behind me upside down. I saw a group of people led by a man running toward me at a fast clip. My flight or fight instinct kicked in and I popped back up.

I chose flight and got out of there as fast as I could, sprinting at top speed (I afterall was a track and field athlete at that tender age of seven) to prevent the man and the group from catching me.

I was putting all my track effort into my sprint and the group was getting closer to me. I whipped around the corner and, in relief, spotted our house; but they were still gaining on me despite my effort.

With a final burst of speed for my life, I aimed for the safety of our front yard, vaulted over the low fence, threw my school case at the front door and landed gracelessly.

My case made contact with the door with a loud thud. I landed in a near faceplant as my dad opened the door. Breathless but strong, I shouted at him that I was being chased.

“Don’t let him in!”

We both looked over the fence for the man and the group but they had already jogged past our house. My dad looked down at me, grinning.

“Oh my child, you’re such a bloody nutcase!” he said, turned around and went back indoors.

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