The Little Girl

Anna Has lost her faith in God after losing her husband and child. A significant change is about to occur as she comes to believe in ghosts due to her experience

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1. The Little Girl

It was the time of evening. Golden rays of sun had started to shift towards indigo texture of dusk. She sat in a room of hotel reading a fantasy novel. Feeling the buzz of her cellphone, she quickly picked it up. A frank voice put her in a frustrated mood. She was in no mood for any new topics especially when last conversation ended with a tense note.

“Hello Anna. How are you?”

“I am fine James. You tell.”

She spoke in a fake cheerful voice.

“I know you are faking it Anna. You don’t want to talk to me. I get it.”

How he did that she never knew. There was something which often made him realize her true mood no matter how hard she tried to conceal it.

“James if it is about last discussion then I am saying it again I am not ready for any such commitment. And seriously, how on Earth would we both even match. You fear that invisible deity which you call God. I am an atheist. I mean how you can even imagine such a match!”

“You have your reasons I see. I can relate this abandoning of faith to death of your husband and child but Anna it has been 8 years. You are entering your thirties. If you give me a chance, we can start as anew. Fix all the damage…”

“I AM NOT DAMAGED!”

She hung up the phone with ire. He knew how to rile her up. She often wondered whether it was unintentional or he knew what he said. For now her mood to just sit down and read the fantasy novel had been ruined. She needed to go out for a walk. It had been almost a week since she had been selected as employee of the year. Though least interested in tourism, she decided to avail the prize in form of fortnight stay at luxurious hotel of Tingo Maria in Peru. Traveling opens up the mind, transforms the individual or so she had read in a novel. If there was anything she craved most, it was the change. Being a hardworking employee at a Business Corporation, she let nobody knew why a blonde haired beautiful girl like her lived alone. Her husband had died in a car accident about eight years ago. Unable to absorb the news of his death during her pregnancy, her grief resulted in miscarriage. She had been left alone. For all her time during hardships, she often wondered the power of faith. The power couldn’t save his child or husband. All the prayers didn’t give her support when she needed it most. What was the point of having a firm belief in God when she was left on her own?

Immersed in sea of thoughts, she walked on the pathways. It was the time of night when while walking sideways she spotted a young girl crying at a lonely backstreet. Something about her attracted Anna. Barefooted, torn clothes; she looked like a homeless girl. Moving towards her, she softly put her hand on her shoulder.

“What’s wrong sweetheart?”

“You….you can notice me?”

The girl sounded surprised while asking. Anna looked at her for a while. She was a very pretty child unnoticed by people around.

“Of course I can notice you. What is your name?”

The girl looked at her with awe. After a brief moment, she spoke in quick tone,

“I live begging on the streets. I haven’t got any money today. My brother is very ill. Please help me. I just need a few pennies.”

Checking her purse, she took out 40 dollars.

“You are a big strong girl. Don’t be worried.  Here is some money. Where will you spend the night?”

“I go to church. Father lets me stay there.”

Speaking quickly, she ran off in unknown direction. Anna thought for a moment whether she had been played. The child could be asking money for some drug addict adult. Next moment she scorned herself. Whatever it was, she had helped a homeless poor child. Remembering a task, she headed back to her hotel room. There was something about that child she had grown fond of instantly.

She woke up to the sound of rain. It turned out to be the cloudy morning. Looking at her phone, she found 2 missed calls. It was undoubtedly James. Preferring to take a walk outside instead of replying, she quickly got dressed up. Having done with breakfast, she went out.  

After walking a bit, she came across the same girl. She looked weaker than their last meeting. Her cheeks appeared swollen like she had been crying all night. With tears still in eyes, she begged. Strangely nobody listened to her pleas. Anna decided to go to her. Seeing her previous helper, she ran to her.

“Please help me! My brother is dying. Nobody is listening to me. Father is trying…. to collect money... but nobody is helping him either!”

Her accent made Anna forget everything on her mind. She asked,

“Where is he?! Tell me quickly.”

In response, the little girl ran in certain direction. Anna chased her. After turning around few streets, she noticed a church. A man wept in front of church with a young boy lying beside him. She quickly moved to location. The man constantly cried for help as the busy street ignored him. Anna quickly asked the man,

“Why are you crying? What is wrong?”

“My son…… Nobody is helping. He will die. Please help us!”

She quickly called an ambulance. Paying all of medical expenses, she headed to hospital along with the boy. It was a severe case of tuberculosis that affected him. She thanked the moment the girl brought her to boy. Wait! The girl! Where had she gone! She recently noticed her absence in such moment.

 After a while looking at the father of boy, she asked for leave. He kissed her hands, thanking the God who sent her here. Cancelling any more discussion with him at the mention of God, she quickly thought of an excuse to go.

When she arrived back, she had a guest. It was the priest of church who had recently come to visit her. Adjusting herself to visit the least expected guest, she moved to her room to greet the priest. After exchanging a few courtesies, the talk with him came to the point. Priest had arrived to ask her the cause that had led her to boy and his father. She told him about the little beggar. She asked the priest about that little girl.

The priest’s face had turned pale. Refusing to answer the question, he told her to contact the boy’s father. After exchanging a few courtesies, he left quickly with a frightened look. Anna sensed a deep story. There was something odd going on here.

The night was restless. She constantly had strange intuitive feelings about God. For a moment, she believed God was there. Watching over her, making way for improvement in her life; the next moment she firmly held her belief about absence of any such deity in her life. Forcing herself to sleep by pills, she wondered whether there was anything she could do more than paying few expenses for the boy and girl. They lived in condition which would bring the worse again in their life. Her kindness had just made their lives better for a short time.

She was walking around the street. It was late at night. People seemed to have slept. A feeling of loneliness crept across her. For the first time she felt she needed a support. A moment later, thought of James came across her mind. Such dedicated guy and hardworking too; he had slacked intentionally to let her win the employee of month title. A feeling of love drifted across her for him. Next moment she felt a presence behind. She turned quickly. It was that little girl. This time she appeared healthy and smiling.

“What are you doing at such late hour of night?”

She asked her softly.

“Listen. Please do me a favour. Please tell my father that I love him and forgive him.”

Anna blinked her eye. The little girl was gone. Scenery beside her started to shift. Darkness engulfed her, forcing her to wake up with a scream. She felt suffocated. It was past midnight as she heard a man crying out loud. Something urged her to follow the voice. Leaving the room, she headed to locate the source. At the corner of street laid father of the boy, crying in most disturbing tone. She interrupted his moans, asking politely,

“What is wrong?”

He kept crying while uttering,

“I am sorry Ella! My young one! I was cruel to you. Please don’t take your brother with you. Please!.. God! Please smite me. Don’t take my little Jimmy. Please punish me instead!!!!”

She couldn’t hear anymore. Forcing her support to him, she allowed him to sit with his back to the wall.

“What is with you? Who is Ella?”

The man looked at her.

“You are the helper. The one who talked to my daughter! Listen, please tell my daughter that I am sorry. Father just told me it was my little Ella who guided you to me, to her brother! Please ask her not to take her brother.”

He lost his balance of speech. In his disturbed pattern, she could make out the most disturbing part of his words,

“My Ella! I killed her! She hadn’t enough money for drugs! I hit her with bottle on her head. I kept on abusing her when she bled to death! Please, father said God chose you to help us! Please help me! Tell my daughter that I am sorrryyyyy!.....”

She couldn’t hear anymore.

“You are a monster!”

Not able to withstand his cries, she ran like crazy to her room. Everyone within hotel noticed her almost insane behaviour. Making her way to her room, she closed her door with a bang.

There went a storm through her mind. Was God real? Was it a real ghost she spoke to? How? How could God choose her when she had abandoned Him? Strange thoughts cooked in her mind until she decided one thing. She was going to help the family.

Regaining her senses after a while she felt sorry for the man. Although still sceptical at present event, she thought that when his daughter had forgiven him, how could she have any right to call that man a monster? At the time when he needed to hear about forgiveness of her daughter most? She had let impulse take over her reasoning at that moment. Ignoring the dream, she decided to help the father and son. She could easily afford to grant that man a job.

As the dawn approached, she decided to go to church. A strange guilt overcame her, a burden she was about to understand the reason of. A crowd gathered outside the church. As she moved ahead, she witnessed a sight so terrible that she covered her face for a moment. Dead body of the man she met at night, hung from a tree. He had hung himself by neck. On the wall of church a statement was written,

“I will see my children soon”

To her dread, she found that boy had died. She couldn’t take anymore. Cancelling the whole week plan to stay, she quickly booked a flight. It seemed like horror of this place was consuming her. Her senses were disturbed heavily. Not noticing her falling tears, she quickly called James,

“Anna what is wrong! Tell me!”
“James I would like to discuss something with you. And I want your help……”

Cancelling the call, she sat at airport a few hours later, crying like a baby while waiting for the plane.

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