I was a missing teenager in the spring of 1990 at the age of thirteen going on fourteen. I cannot even recall how long I was gone, but it was somewhere around a few months. I had run away from home a few times previously and I was a troubled child who had been acting out.
However, this time, I did not set out to go missing.
I skipped school one day and was sitting on the swings at a park when two grown men whistled at me. They called me ‘beautiful’ and there was something about that kind of attention that made me respond and walk closer. My self-worth at that time was in the gutter, so I was vulnerable to whatever attention I could find. The more attention they lavished on me, the more vulnerable I became. When one of them asked if anyone would be looking for me…
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