One time one of my brothers got separated from our family. It was not the same scene.
My father got mad at him like he did something wrong. It was a big ass mall. Way bigger than Nigga Oaks. My brother was 8; I was 14 and I woulda cried if I'd gotten lost. It was that big. One of those malls where the same store is in it multiple times. Why do they do that in white malls? We don't have two Foot Lockers, so why do you have three Forever 21s?
What happened was my brother, being a kid, saw something he wanted and wandered over to see it. It was just for a second but in a mall that large, that's all it takes for you to get lost in the crowd. We were pretty close to the exit when this happened which makes it a little more ok that no one noticed he wasn't there until we got in the car. Because when there are 6 kids on a light day, you notice if there's extra space. And while I immediately felt guilty that I, as the oldest, had not noticed one of my brothers missing, my father got angry as if broski had done something wrong. In my mind, he was being a kid. And I know you're thinking oh, he was upset because he was scared that something could have happened to him. But naw. That nigga was just mad.
It didn't take long to find him. He had kept walking in the direction we were headed. Slowly, thinking we would have noticed and would be looking for him.
It makes you think about how prepared some parents are for disaster. They take pictures of their kids before they go anywhere with lots of people so they know exactly what they have on, write a phone number on the t-shirt tag, drill the kids on a protocol to follow should they get lost. Then on the other hand, a kid gets lost without being taught any of this and it's their fault when they don't do the "right" thing.
It's not like if something terrible actually happened the parent would be like, "He shoulda stopped focusing on building a damn bear and held somebody's hand. Bet you when he starving in a basement he's going to wish he hadn't wondered his little ass off." Or maybe they would. What do I know.