The children in my class are… disappearing.
But it’s more than that.
This has been happening for a week. There’s no one I can go to.
Not even their parents.
I teach a class of second graders at a small public school. I’ve only been here about eight months, after my husband and I moved into town. I love my job, and I love helping these children. Many of them come from poorer families and tough upbringings. It can break your heart hearing some of the stories I’ve heard. My husband and I have never had children, so I love these students like they are my own flesh and blood.
So I remember very clearly when one of my students abruptly stopped coming to school.
Her name was Amanda, and she was very sweet and shy like many of my students. Amanda’s attendance was perfect, so the absence itself was reason enough for minor concern. At recess, I went up to her closest friend, Molly, and asked if she knew where Amanda was today.
Molly frowned and tried to skip away to join some nearby children jumping rope. I called her name and repeated my question.
“Who?” Molly said, a confused look on her face.
“Amanda!” I laughed. “You know, your best friend? The one you always play princess with?”
Molly rolled her eyes. “I only play princess with Patty.”
I let her go, without thinking too much of it. Kids are very temperamental, so for all I knew Amanda and Molly were giving each other the silent treatment or something silly over an argument that would be forgotten in a day or two.
Even after Amanda didn’t come to school for three days, I wasn’t too worried. I did however go to the school’s office to inquire about the situation to the secretary. “Hi Deb, I wanted to check to see if the parents of Amanda ______ have called in about their daughter being sick? I haven’t seen her in class yet this week.”
Deb shuffled through the assortment of papers and colored sticky notes on her desk. “No, doesn’t look like it. Think the flu is going around though, poor girl might have come down with it.”
“I bet that’s it. Could I get her emergency contact information? I think I’ll give the parents a call, just to double check everything is alright,” I said. A student absent for multiple days without word from the parents? Maybe other teachers wouldn’t worry, but as I mentioned, I feel very overprotective of my class.
“Sure thing, hon,” Deb said, clicking some keys on her computer. After a brief pause, she frowned. “Can you spell that last name for me?”
Even after I did, Deb kept frowning. “You positive that’s it? I’ve got no student by that name in the system.”
I was puzzled. I typed Amanda’s name multiple times into the computer myself as Deb watched. “Maybe the family pulled her out of school?” I asked in confusion.
Deb shook her head. “Even so, I would have record of that. Your Amanda never went to this school.”
Too shocked to argue, I left the office. I wanted to reach out to Amanda’s parents and ask them what was going on, but I had no idea how to find where they lived.
On the way home, I had an idea. Amanda’s best friend, Molly, lived with her family in my neighborhood. I had waved to the two of them as they played in Molly’s front yard on many a sunny summer day. Surely Molly’s parents would have a way of reaching Amanda’s, or even know what was going on. Although it was getting late, I was concerned enough that I knew I decided to make a detour to their house.
I rolled into their driveway about fifteen minutes later. Shortly after ringing the doorbell, I saw the familiar face of Molly’s mother, Linda, peek at me through the door’s window. I gave a friendly smile and wave. A moment later, the door swung open.
“May I help you?” Molly’s mother said politely.
“Hi Linda! I’m sorry to drop by at this hour,” I said. “I know you’re probably about to have dinner, so I’ll make it quick!”
Linda had a look of confusion on her face. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”
I was taken aback. “Yes, I’m Molly’s teacher! We met earlier this year at a parent-teacher conference?”
The woman stared at me blankly. “I’m sorry, there’s no Molly here. I believe you have the wrong house.” She closed the door on me.
My state of shock at this new development would only grow worse. The next day at school, not only were both Molly and Amanda absent, so were three other students. The following day, I was missing half of my entire class. I went to the office in near hysterics, only to discover that there was no trace that any of the missing children had ever even existed, let alone been in my class. I tried to speak with the principal and with other teachers. No one had any recollection of such students attending the school.
I tried to reach out to the parents of the missing children. Those I could reach had no idea who I was talking about when I mentioned the names of their sons and daughters. Others simply refused my calls and frantic knocking on their doors.
How could this happen? How could someone forget their own child?
I called my husband earlier this week to try to explain what was going on. He was sympathetic and supportive, but I could tell that he didn’t really understand or believe what I was saying. In his defense, I was nearly hysterical at times. When he gets home this weekend, I know I can talk to him and make him understand what is going on.
Right now, I am just sitting in my living room, typing this. Please give me any advice you can come up with, I’m willing to listen to anything at this point.
Wait a second.
Sorry, I’m back. I spotted something small and purple sticking out from under the couch. It’s a little girl’s shoe.
I don’t understand what this is doing here? There have been no kids in the house since my sister’s family visited at Christmas.
This doesnt make any
could someone forget their own child