When our daughter was three years old, my husband and I took her to one of those traveling carnivals with amusements rides, games of chance and vendors who sell cotton candy and French fries.
We also lost her there. Just for a short time but they’re among the most anxious minutes of my life.
She’d gone into one of those climbing mazes and was navigating it with the ease of the athlete she’d become. Another child, however, was stuck. The child was a stranger, but my husband went into the maze to help. While I was watching this unfold, our daughter reached the exit, which was on the other side of the apparatus.
And, all of a sudden, she was gone.
Have I mentioned this was in South Florida, not even ten miles from where Adam Walsh famously disappeared from a Hollywood shopping mall? South Florida, a place with a high transient population?
I’ll never forget turning in circles, desperately searching for any sign of my precious little girl while trying to quell my growing terror. The world seemed oddly bright, as though all my senses were working at full capacity, yet I didn’t know which way to run. What if I chose the wrong direction?
And, then, after what couldn’t have been more than a few minutes, I spotted a man carrying her. It turned out he was a carnival worker. My daughter, wise beyond her years, had gone to his ticket booth and told him she was lost.
That story could explain in part why I wrote The Truth About Tara, my current release from Superromance. Tara Greer is afraid she might be the three-year-old who was snatched from a shopping mall thirty years ago. She has a happy life on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia where she’s close to her mother and young foster brother. She doesn’t want to give credence to gorgeous stranger Jack DiMarco’s suspicions that she could be a stolen child.
I won’t give away whether Tara is the abducted child. I will tell you, however, that Tara doesn’t want to know if that’s the case. She likes her life exactly the way it is and fears the truth could devastate her family. What do you think? Is it better to know the truth, no matter how bad it is?