Any loving parent knows the horrific feeling of dread when they don't know where their child is, with every tragic scenario overriding logical explanations.
The same was true for the family of a Canberra school boy who accidentally boarded the wrong bus on his way home from school recently.
This story, however, has a delightful ending, with a bus driver hailed a hero for making sure the boy got home safely.
Transport Canberra driver Jeet Gill had reached the end of his route when a boy walked to the front to say that he had made an error when changing buses and that he didn't know how to get home on public transport.
"He said, 'Oh, sorry I think I got the wrong bus'," Mr Gill told ABC News.
"I knew what I had to do."
Making sure that he followed protocol, Mr Gill made a phone call to the department's communications office to obtain approval to drive the boy home.
With approval in place, Mr Gill swapped the bus for a field van and, "... the child directed the driver all the way to his front door, where his father ran to embrace him and to thank this hero who had brought him all the way home safely," reports Our Canberra.
With the boy's mother out searching, the anxious father had been moments away from contacting police about their missing son. Then he saw Mr Gill pulling up out front.
"After realising the situation, the driver drove all the way to our place to drop him off … completely the other side of town," the father said.
He added, "That bus driver went above and beyond, and I hope he gets thanked."
Mr Gill is humble about his act of kindness, even though he should have been home for the day by that point.
"I just thought 'what would happen if that was my kid?' and that's how I dealt with it," he told the ABC.
"I just did what was my job."
He's glad that the parents appreciated his gesture.
"The parents were so glad and thankful," he said, before quipping, "My friends are telling me 'oh you've started doing a home delivery nowadays' and I say 'yes, sometimes we have to do that!'"
Mr Gill loves the social aspects of his job and said, "I love meeting different kinds of people every day."
'When people say hello, it makes your day.'
Social media users were quick to thank the local hero.
"What a fantastic story. As a parent I can fully appreciate the panic those poor parents must have felt and am so glad that Jeet & TCCS we're able to go literally the extra mile for this family," wrote one person.
Another commented, "Good to see someone take pride in what they do."
It's a good reminder "that parents and caregivers should teach their children to remember their home address and caregiver's mobile phone number, and how to identify a trusted adult if they need help."