There are some things I wouldn’t really care about losing. In fact, there are some things I’d quite like to lose (a few pounds would stop my
mum parents sighing every time I reach for yet another slice of cake). And there are some things you should never lose, like your passport, or the kid that you’re babysitting.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and the 12 year old I was looking after had gone out with her friends. I was multitasking like a pro, typing away at the laptop and watching How I Met Your Mother. She came in, and told me about her stolen bike. Distracted, I heard the words “look for my bike” and “downstairs”, and put them together, coming up with “I’m going downstairs to look for my bike”. I mmm’ed in reply, which was answered by the sound of a door shutting. I turned back to the laptop/TV.
An hour later, I became aware of the fact that it was nearing dinnertime. I also realised that she hadn’t come back yet. I called her mobile, which was conveniently switched off. I texted her parents, who told me they’d last seen her with her friends. On the exterior, I stayed cam, but the inside was a totally different story.
I decided to go downstairs to see if I could locate her before sending out a proper search party. Turned out I didn’t need to search for her at all, let alone send out a search party. I spotted the chink of light under her bedroom door, and relief overcame me.
Only one word can describe how I felt when I told her amused parents later that day: awkward.