Hannah is a very pretty li'l girl, aged two. She had just started telling small words like mommy, daddy, and more. She lived next door. The only daughter of the Smiths. They lived in a very beautiful home with a sprawling, beautiful garden.
I did not fail to notice each morning when I went for a walk as part of my daily regimen to stay fit, Hannah prancing around in their garden, touching and smelling those colorful flowers that festooned their garden. I envied her for the spirit of joy and appreciating beauty even in her tender age. She will throw an innocent smile at me invariably and mutter auntie. What struck me was the large mole just below her lower lip in her chin that added to the girl’s charm.
I did not see the girl for a couple of days and wondered whether she had fallen sick. On the third day I learnt from my help that someone who came in a truck had kidnapped the girl two days back when she was alone in the garden.
Her parents were devastated. The police could not make a breakthrough as the only witness who saw the girl being put in the truck did not notice its number or remembered the model.
Her mom was constantly crying "Hannah, where are you my girl..........." and no amount of care by her husband could console her. Days and nights passed. Weeks and months passed. Hannah was nowhere to be found. Police were only assuring that they are trying to trace her but they had lost all hopes. In memory of Hannah, they named their vast garden, "Hannah's Secret Garden."
Six months later I had some official work at a neighboring city. I had finished my work by 3pm and my bus was only at 7pm. I went to the mall nearby for a quick bite and for time pass. As I was sitting on a bench and eating, I saw an aged couple with a small girl walking towards my direction. They looked as somebody who came from impoverished family. When I looked at the girl, I was astonished to see the large mole on her chin. To my utter surprise the girl smiled at me and called me auntie.
I learnt the couple found her crying in the road at the outskirts of the city. They had obviously discarded her there when they saw a police car coming behind thinking wrongly they were being chased. She could not speak. She seemed afraid. They brought her home and were taking care of her. I told them about the grieving neighbors and asked them to accompany me promising them some reward.
Imagine the shriek of joy let out by Hanna’s mom on seeing her. They thanked me profusely and rewarded the couple with money, clothes and tidbit.
They did not remove however the name board and it remained “Hannah’s Secret Garden.
The next day, Hannah was seen prancing again in her beautiful garden, hopping from one flower to the other and smelling each one of them. She’s free again but with tight security implemented by her parents within their abode’s perimeter.
Written for Thursday Tales
Tale # 50