8 year old Kaavya was confused, lost, and angry. She was standing outside the gate of her school and was waiting for her mom. It has been 30 minutes since the school got over and her mom didn’t turn up. She was in verge of tears and she sat in a bench near her school gate. The watchman consoled her and told her that he will call to his mom’s number. “Stay here safely. I will get your mom’s number from the register inside. If your mom comes ask her to wait here till I come back”, he said in a caring tone. “Okay uncle”, sobbed Kaavya. Her mom always asked her to trust only the watchman or other school authorities while she was in school.
Kaavya kept staring at the opposite side of the road were a woman who was old, very old was sleeping in a bench. There was a dog beneath her and she could see the dog was sleeping too. She kept staring at them for reasons unknown to herself. The lady slowly opened her eyes and saw her. Kaavya jerked a little and turned away, the lady gestured by waving her hand at the girl. Kaavya turned towards her with half smile and half frightened look. The lady made another gesture as if asking Kaavya to wipe her tears. Kaavya smiled and wiped her tears, and then the lady again gestured and asked her that can she come over to her place and Kaavya hesitatingly nodded.
The lady came along with the dog and sat next to the girl and asked, “Why are you crying?” Kaavya said, “My mom didn’t come and I want to go home.” Suddenly the watchman came and shooed the lady way and took Kaavya inside. Kaavya said, “Uncle it is okay, I want to sit with this granny here.” The watchman replied, “No, I will take you inside and you can play there.” He tried to carry her inside and she was still gazing at the old lady.
After a while, the old lady could hear screams of Kaavya from inside of the school. The lady was disturbed and she went inside the school to hear the screams getting louder and louder. As she neared a room which was bolted from inside she heard the child’s voice screaming, “Uncle, no what are you doing? Please.” The lady sneaked through the window and saw the watchman’s hand on the tender genitals of Kaavya. The lady made a huge scream and tried to break the door with full force. Somehow adrenaline rushed and she broke the door and landed straight on the watchman’s back. She pushed him to the floor with full force and when he tried to hit her, the dog which was with her started biting him. He finally gave up. She carried Kaavya, dressed her up and took her out.
Kaavya’s mom came after ten minutes and as soon as she saw Kaavya sitting with the old woman she shouted, “Kaavya, how many times I told you not to talk to strangers? Where is your watchman? Why don’t you sit with him till I come? I told him that I will reach in half an hour.” Kaavya was still crying and her mom was furious now after seeing her daughter’s sob and the blood in dog’s mouth. She asked the old lady, “What are you doing to my daughter? Let me call the police.” The old lady remained calm and said, “Your daughter is safe, please take her home and pacify her. She will tell you what was happening, don’t drop your words madam. They can’t be taken back.”
Later that night, Kaavya explained what happened that day at the school and her mother felt guilty and sadness overpower her completely. She cursed herself for leaving Kaavya unattended, she loathed herself for scolding the old lady without enquiring, and above all she thanked god for saving her daughter. Next day they searched for the lady everywhere; neither the lady, nor the dog was found anywhere.
This short story was written as a response to the picture prompt given by The 1Hundred Linky.
S(t)ri’s mom says: Never leave your child (any gender) unattended. In the story the moral that was conveyed was “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, still apart from the mother no one can protect the child in a better way. To all mothers out there, educate your child about potential dangers they may face at play place, school, etc. Also give ear to their worries, woes, and rantings. Above all don’t be judgmental. This is a kind request. Together let’s stop child abuse.
Love & Cheers,