VOICES: Big trouble for little kid in China

Davis Thompson recalls a time when he was sure his life was about to change forever

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DAVIS

“Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” laughed the taxi driver as he locked the door to the car, trapping me inside.

He was trying to kidnap me.

Being in China for a year without seeing my family prompted my grandparents to come to see us. We missed each other deeply and were excited to see each other. But, before we could let them stay with us for a few days, there was something we needed to do.

We had to get my grandparents registered into China. In order to do that, we had to go to the police station. We didn’t have a car like most of the people who lived there, so taxis were our only means of transportation.

So, my two brothers, my grandparents, my mom and dad, and I got in a taxi and went to the police station.

My grandparents brought me a grab-and-go coloring book, as well as a few other presents, as a “hello, nice to see you” gift. I brought the coloring book with me and colored on the way to the station.

I asked my mom and dad if I could stay in the car while they were inside with my brothers registering my grandparents.

“That’s fine,” they said. They turned their gaze to the taxi driver. “We’ll pay you extra if you wait with him in the car.”

He took the offer.

My family walked into the police station, leaving me and the taxi driver alone. I listened to Chinese music coming from the radio, as I colored in my book.

About 10 to 15 minutes later, the car jerked forward. The taxi driver was pulling out of the parking lot. Thinking fast, I put my hand on the handle, ready to open the door before he got going too fast. I was too late.

He locked the door, laughing in amusement at my attempt to escape. I saw him in the mirror. His face was twisted in evil pleasure. The only thing going through my mind was, “This is it. I am never going to see my family again.”

He locked and unlocked the door, teasing me as my hands fumbled at the handle. To his surprise, I quickly pulled the handle when it was unlocked, opened the door, and jumped out of the car.

As I ran to the police station, he drove away, glancing back at me, eyes filled with worry. I found my mom and dad and told them what had happened. My mom thought he was just pulling out to park.

We finished the registration and went to the parking lot. He was gone. My mom called him and asked where he was.

He said he was going to take me on an “errand” with his friend. My mom wasn’t happy, because she paid him to wait with me. We waited for him in the cold for 20 minutes and he didn’t show up.

Eventually we got tired of waiting and went home in a different taxi. On our way home, we got a call from the taxi driver. He was at the police station. My mom answered, and he asked us where we were.

My mom said that we got tired of waiting and that he shouldn’t have left in the first place. He started screaming at my mom. She hung up.

To this day, my mom and dad still, after deep persuasion, don’t believe me.They think it was an “errand.” But, I know in my heart it was no “errand.”

I can still hear his laugh.

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