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The House with Yellow Ribbons
I am four. I listen to what the grown up say. My mommy and daddy and the neighbors don't want me to hear so they talk when they think I'm not listening. I am. They say a girl is gone. "Kidnapped," they say. "Or maybe she ran away."
There is a house with yellow ribbons. My mommy, big brother and me pass it when we ride in the car. I like the yellow ribbons.
"Why are there ribbons there?" I ask, but I speak too quiet for anyone to hear.
I am six. We are walking to the grocery store. It is just a few blocks away. I want see the house with yellow ribbons, but my brother wants to cross the bridge over the highway instead He says it is a shortcut, but I'm not stupid. The other way is the same length. I don't like the bridge very much. I don't tell him that though.
My mom says we can take the shortcut. I'm sad. I know its not a shortcut. I want to see the house with yellow ribbons.
I am nine. My mom, brother, little sister and I are in the car. I'm in my boaster seat. I don't like it. I'm really short and I only weigh 59 pounds so I have to have a booster seat.
We are coming home from Vacation Bible School. I'm playing with a bookmark I made. It has a little pink ribbon at the top. It reminds me of the house with yellow ribbons. I look out the window. Two more streets until I can see it. The house with yellow ribbons is only a few blocks away from my house.
The car stops at the stop sign. I ask about the ribbons, but my mom doesn't hear me. I hate my booster seat. It is all the way in the back of the mini-van. Nobody ever hears me when I talk. I talk quietly. My mom says I mumble, but that's not true. She just isn't listening.
I speak louder. "Why are there ribbons on the fence?"
"Because a few years ago a girl went missing. Sometimes when soldiers come home from war there family has moved away. If there are yellow ribbons on the house the soldier knows his family is waiting to welcome him home. The girl's family put those ribbons up to welcome her home if she ever comes back."
"Oh." I say. My brother is talking now, but I don't care. I'm trying to make out what the soldiers have to do with the girl. It doesn't quite make sense.
I am twelve. I'm walking to the fast food place with my best friend to get ice cream. As we pass the house with yellow ribbons, I wonder what happened to the girl. I'm old enough to understand what might have happened to her.
Really bad, perverted things, if she was kidnapped. Maybe she ran away and is tired and hungry. Perhaps she was murdered and her body was never found.
I'm not that old yet, but some bad things have happened to me. I don't like to think about them, but I'm sure that whatever happened to the girl is a lot worse than anything that happened to me.
I am fourteen. As I walk past the house with yellow ribbons I notice something off. There are no yellow ribbons. I feel horribly sad. I say a quick prayer for girl. I want her to come home. I pray for the the family. I want them to be happy with the girl if she comes home. If she doesn't come home I want them to have comfort and closure.
A few year pass by. When I come home from the library my dad tells me the girl was found. I'm very surprised. I know that most disappearances go unsolved if the child isn't found within a few weeks.
I look though my art supplies. I find two yellow ribbons. I don't know the girl or her family at all. But I've known about them for most of my life. I'm going to tie some yellow ribbons to the fence to welcome the girl home.