I was only eleven years old when I was snatched from my neighbourhood. That day will never escape me. The shriek of tires as the black van came speeding around the corner. The rush of street hockey had stopped immediately. There wasn’t even enough time to move the net from the road but the van managed to swerve its way passed it. There were screams as kids, my friends, managed to avoid the skilfully driven van. I had only managed to hop onto the sidewalk when the vehicle slammed on the brakes inches from my frail body. The side door opened with force and three men in black garb rushed out and picked me up. They threw me into the van and quickly sped away. Something was put over my head so that my world was plunged into darkness. They placed ear muffs on me so that everything became barely audible. I can still remember the smells to this day; the burning diesel choking my passageways, old sweat baked into the fabric of the mask. It didn’t take long until I passed out. On arrival at my kidnapper’s destination I was taken into a room where the temperature dipped below zero degrees. The mask had become moist around my mouth and nose during the transportation and it had already begun to freeze. It started to scratch my face. Covered in tiny cuts, my eyes could do nothing but tear. I don’t know how long I spent in that freezing room but it seemed like hours. It was beyond an experience I had ever felt before. For the next three days I was locked up. They had taken me to a different room at that point. It wasn’t much of a change. It was damp and the odours were sharp and distasteful. I still had a mask over my head but they had removed the ear muffs. A person only came into the room to feed me. I had bland oatmeal for breakfast, dried mango and potatoes for lunch, and noodles for supper. The man never spoke to me and I never to him.

I was hoping to be released after they took me from the damp room but I was just placed inside another room.  They took the mask off my head and that’s when I started to fear for my life. I was hoping that my parents would rescue me but they were helpless. My kidnappers had never made contact with them. I spent the next month in that room. An old man came in everyday to teach to me. He was friendly and we became close. To me he was my new guardian. They told me to forget about my previous life, my family. I had a new life now. A life full of opportunity. To this day I’m glad for what happened to me, but if there is one thing I regret about joining the CIA as a child operative. It’s that I never got to say goodbye to my family.


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