My Brother’s New Friend

By: Tamara Mackie

toogood

The day started out like any other, my little brother and I, age 6 and 10 at the time, came home from school and plopped down in front of the TV to watch some cartoons. Being the eldest child it was up to me to make sure that everything was in order until my parents got home from work, usually an hour after we got home from school. As we sat on the couch I started to doze off and before I knew it I fell asleep completely. Roughly 30 minutes later I woke up to the sound of my parents coming through the door, and I ran to greet them. My mom started making us a snack and she told me to tell my brother to come to the kitchen, so I yelled out his name but there was no response.

I figured he was probably in his room so I ran upstairs but I still couldn’t find him. I was certain he was hiding from me for fun and decided that when I found him I was going to tackle him to the ground for wasting my time. I scoured the house and there was still no sign of him. Finally, panic took over and I ran to my parents, and told them I couldn’t find my brother anywhere. My parents then searched the house and went on to search the neighborhood. I stayed home in case he wandered back in and spent every second praying that my brother was okay, how could I let this happen I wondered, and fear and guilt filled my chest. For what seemed like hours, my parents finally returned home with my brother in hand an hour later. I let out a sigh of relief, then started yelling at him for leaving the house and asked him why he would do such a thing. And what he told me next… I will never forget.

He started by telling me that he wanted to go play at the park by our house but that he didn’t want to wake me so he left as quietly as he could. While at the park he told me he had made a new friend. I asked him what his friend’s name was and he said he didn’t know but that he played with him all over the playground. I was relieved to hear that my brother had a rather typical day at the park but when I asked if his new friend was in his grade my brother responded by saying that his new friend was far too old to be in school. The fear returned and I immediately questioned my brother further about his new companion. It seemed that while at the park, an older man approached him, who he had never met before, and asked my brother if he would like to be pushed on the swings. My brother being the young, naïve 6 year old that he was, responded with a “yes please.” The man then proceeded to ask my brother about his life and school and what his favorite cartoons were, and went so far as to give my brother a candy bar – the cliché of all stranger danger. Afterward, he bid my brother farewell, said he would see him soon, and shortly after departing, my parents had arrived to take my brother home.

As he finished telling me this story he still seemed none the wiser to the potential danger he had put himself in, and I went off to reprimand him on his actions and informed my parents who went on to lecture him further. What had scared me most though was how easily my brother seemed to trust this stranger, and while I was furious he accepted food, I couldn’t help but be thankful it didn’t go as far as the unknown man asking my bother to leave with him, because at that point in his life, still young, innocent and trusting, I think he just might have.

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7 thoughts on “My Brother’s New Friend

  1. This post really hits home for me because I have a brother who is 6 and a sister who is 10. I am often in charge of them and on many occasions have fallen asleep. I have found children to be the most trusting individuals, which is great in many ways but also detrimental to their safety. Children have not been exposed to the evils of the world and would never write someone off as bad. They view everyone as “innocent until proven guilty.” This story was particularly terrifying because it could have happened to my siblings and honestly does not seem that far fetched. This is the kind of horror that is real. Horror happens in everyones life, it may not be a two faced man, a vampire or a ghost, but a stranger doing something like this is equally as scary.

  2. I found what was scary about this post is that it is a very mundane thing and could happen to anyone: its not like its supernatural or super uncommon. I also have a younger brother, and i can’t say the the number of times he just wandered off somewhere and I had no idea where he went. We live in a pretty isolated area with only a few houses around, but a lot of open space, so when he wanders past our yard and into the road when were not watching its pretty terrifying. We fear the idea of what would happen if they did get lost and it would be our faults if anything happened to them.

  3. I have a younger brother too, and we share roughly the same age difference as you and your brother. When we were growing up (and even now), I was also very worried about his naivety, and he went through a lot of harsh reprimanding from me too. Being the hot headed kid that I was, if my brother told me some stranger had approached him and given him a candy bar, I would have gone out to look for the man with the intention of teaching him a violent lesson. However, what is really creepy about your story is that the stranger left him alone and told him he’d be seeing him again in the near future. Who was he, where is he and will he ever come back? I am also curious as to what happened to the candy bar the stranger gave your brother. Maybe he was just a stranger who truly just wanted to keep a lonely child company? We’ll never know…

  4. Wow, I feel like this is a typical situation that I could see in a horror film, book, or even on the news but I would never expect it to happen to my family. Something about your brothers innocence being taken advantage of is what really frightens me. At least in horror movies the character typical has an idea that they are being hunted down, haunted, etc. The naivety of your brother potentially walking off into the night with a stranger and not thinking twice about it is absolutely terrifying. I think the line that really got me was when the stranger said he would see him (your brother) soon. What does he mean by that!? Yikes!

  5. It’s interesting looking back at some things I did as a kid, and how incredibly stupid and trusting I was. I never has quite such a scary experience as this, but I didn’t always take the smartest of action. I think my scaredy-cat nature might have saved me there. But mysterious strangers seem to never cease being terrifying, whether in real life or in stories. Every random person could be a threat, and when you know that someone doesn’t have the common sense or experience to avoid getting into a bad situation with someone, it’s nerve wracking. I’m starting to understand why parents can freak out so much when their children are out of sight.

  6. This is such a terrifying story! Although this man seemed harmless (and we inevitably want to believe the worst in people when it comes to protecting the people we love) we know that there is something very off since he didn’t look to find the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was all alone. Furthermore, the fact that he departed with the phrase, “see you soon” is incredibly eerie! This man now has you on the edge of your seat, waiting for his return, constantly looking out to protect your brother. It gives you a pit in your stomach that something-you don’t know when or what, but potentially bad-will happen in the future.

  7. These are the kinds of fears and terrors that parents and siblings have regularly, that are ever-present and all too real in the news and then replayed in film and TV. The firghtening thing is that these encounters and situations happen often, and there are many instances in which things end for the worst. How can we ignore these stories and accounts when we are looking at our own sibling or child?

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