I ’m frantic. Chaim is pushing me and yelling “Run! Run!” Doesn’t he understand that I can’t leave Yael behind? But where is she? Yael was right beside me on the bench and now she’s gone. This is like the worst nightmare, only I’m awake.

I remember what we learned last year when the menahel spoke to the student body. He told us that not all adults mean well. He said that if any grown-up tries to do something that feels wrong to us, we must scream and run away, and be sure to tell our parents what happened. That crazy Arab is heading straight for me. I yell as loudly as I can, “Help! Help me! Help!”

The other Arab, the one who was driving, jumps out of the car, leaving the door wide open. He races after the first one, who is almost on me. While I’m yelling I keep looking right and left. Where is Yael? Where did she go? People turn around to see what all the commotion is about.

The first Arab reaches me. He grabs hold of me. He’s so tall, towering over me. Now the second Arab is here too. He grabs the first one, shouting something in Arabic as he drags his passenger back to the car. I stop yelling, totally trembling all over.

“What happened?” There are people all around me, passersby who heard my cry for help. My legs are weak as jelly. In slow motion I crumple onto the grass. Hands reach out to catch me. There’s a man from Hatzolah here. He gently lays me down on the ground and lifts my feet up onto the bench. I don’t feel so well. I struggle, trying to get up, calling, “Yael!” but my voice is barely a whisper.

“Take it easy.” The Hatzolah man has a soothing voice. “Just rest here for a few minutes.” He’s checking my pulse and blood pressure. “Get back!” he shouts at the kids pushing to get a look. “Give us some space!”

I think I’m feeling a little better. I pull away from the hands holding me down. I must find Yael!

More hands push me back down. From far away I hear Chaim’s voice, “She’s okay, Meir. Here she is.” He pushes Yael through the crowd until I can see her. I fall backward, flooded with relief.

Poor Yael. She looks pale and frightened. I lift one arm toward her and she throws herself down beside me, burying her face in my sleeve. Yael is sobbing when Ima appears and kneels beside me, calling my name loudly as if I can’t hear.

“The boy is all right,” the Hatzolah man tells her. “He had a bad scare but he’s coming around now.”

I feel my father beside me, stroking my arms. I see concern and fear in his eyes. I want to reassure him. “I’m fine, Abba, don’t worry.” My voice is stronger now. Abba helps me sit up. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 698)