When I was 6 years old I went to my first professional basketball game with my uncle. Towards the end, while we were walking out, we got seperated. I went around, looking frantically, in this crowd of more than 100,000 people for my uncle. I didn't know where I was. I didn't know where he was. I didn't know how to get out. I didn't know these people. I cried. Desperately, I cried, hoping my uncle would hear me in this crowd of 100,000 people. He didn't. A man and his son came over to me.

"Are you lost, little girl?" he asked.

He hoisted me up on his shoulder and I peered around the crowd for my uncle. Minutes later, I spotted him, and screamed his name for all I was worth. He found me, and I thanked the man who had saved me. Minutes later as we were walking to his car, he scolded me for asking the man for help.

"But how else would I have found you?"

I was confused. I didn't realize who the man could have been. I didn't realize that I could have ended up dead in a dumpster and on the front page of the newspaper. Another statistic. Another tragedy. So sad.

And here I am, more than a decade later, still lost. I cry out for help in a world of darkness, and there is naught but silence. The silence in my heart, the silence in my mind. The silence wraps itself around me like a blanket, protecting me from the world. Isolating me. Where am I? Who are these people who pass by without noticing my pleas for help? I want to cry, to scream, to yell out in anger and frustration, but the silence controls what I do now.

I see the people standing all around me. They smile at me, and I smile back. They try to talk to me, to welcome me. They want to know who I am. But I cannot hear them. Their lips move, but I cannot hear what they say. I run away, confused, angry, helpless. I want to hug them, I want to hear them, I want to talk to them, but I can't. Too far away now, I'm still running. My legs are tired.

I run to my computer. He knows who I am. Or she. Here I can hear the words without listening. Here I can share my thoughts without speaking. I am not lost. I don't have to run away anymore. But yet I am still enveloped in the silence. A loud silence. A loud silence of mechanical buzzing and humming. A loud silence of the music I have heard, but still, it is silent. Inside my head, that little boy's voice still cries out frantically, searching for someone to find him. But until then, he is silent.

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