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Lost and Found

A short story

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

June 7th prompt: Write a short story about a boy or girl who has gotten lost.

It was just another day for eight-year-old Ravi.

After school, he bid his friends goodbye. Grabbing his school bag and lunch bag, he ran to the gate to the waiting car. Scrambling in, he settled down to lose himself in the pages of his storybook. It was a thirty-minute ride home.

Suddenly the car came to a stop. Turning towards him, the driver told Ravi that he had an errand to run. Instructing him not to get out of the car, he left, saying that he would be back in a few minutes.

Engrossed in his book, Ravi did not realize that hours had passed. He looked up with a start to realize that it was dark outside. His parents would be so worried! Where had the driver disappeared?

Alarmed, he got out of the car and looked around the deserted road. His tummy rumbled in hunger and his water bottle was empty as well.

He decided to walk, hoping to find someone who could help him. Spotting a light in the distance, he quickened his step and hurried towards it. It was a roadside shack where truck drivers stopped to get snacks, cigarettes, and tea. A couple of trucks were parked nearby and their drivers were standing around, savoring their tea.

Surprised to see the little boy, they asked him, “Who are you, beta? Why are you alone? Are you lost?”

Relieved to see them, Ravi told them that he was on his way back from school when his driver had stopped en route and had not returned.

As they were talking, a woman approached the shack. She took that route every day on her way home from work. Recognizing her, the owner of the shack called out to say hello. When she stopped, she looked at the little boy curiously and had a sense of déjà vu.

After a brief discussion, she offered to take Ravi home with her, give him something to eat, and then report the missing child at the nearby police station.

They set off, and Ravi pointed out to where his car was parked. He was puzzled to see the shock on the woman’s face.

Tightening her hold on the child’s hand, she hurried home with him. Ravi noticed that she lived alone in a tiny two-room portion of a house. Inviting him inside, she offered him some bread and milk. Hungry, Ravi quickly finished his snack. He was ready to go home now and looked around to see where the woman had gone.

Curious, he walked around the sparsely furnished room. There was a bedroll in a corner. Against one wall was a shelf with a few things. A photo of a woman and a child on the shelf caught his attention. The child looked familiar.

Just as he was about to get a closer look, the woman reappeared and told him she would take him home.

Surprised, Ravi asked her, “Do you know my parents?”

A sad look passed over the woman’s face as she nodded, “Yes.”

She dropped him at his gate in an autorickshaw and informed the security guard that she had found the lost child. Ravi’s parents, who were out on the porch frantically phoning his friends and classmates, rushed over to hug Ravi.

They had just heard the news that their driver had gone home to check on his sick wife on the way back from school, had had a stroke, and was rushed to hospital.

Relieved to see their child safe, they turned to thank the woman. They were shocked to see who it was.

Who do you think it was?

Key message: Good things do happen to good people.

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles ❤ Did you smile today?

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My posts for The Daily Write - MIDFORM - June 2022

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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: https://vidyasury.com