The Missing

"I knew that Mary (one of the founders of the National Persons Helpline) was right, but I also knew that her account wasn't wholly right for me. It was correct, but it wasn't all there was to say. It wasn't the end of the story. Modern life is full of traumatized bystanders; the aches and pains of the nearly involved. Sometimes, we might know what went on, have an idea of what occurred, and yet we know nothing about it, except that we are changed now, and we must accept that we can be changed by things we don't understand. Kids had been snatched off the street, whilst other kids played around them, and adults went on their way. Those who notice the missing will say, now and then, that nothing could ever be the same again. And neither it could, not for anyone."

from The Missing,
by Andrew O'Hagan