The main character is from the post mentioned here.
The shady corner of the bar filled with smoke of cigarette that night. As usual ACP Roy had the place for himself, away from the crowd. He had made it in the news today by managing to disobey an order which he felt added little or no value to his job. He was suspended for the same with immediate effect until any further notice. The ruling politician’s ego was a bit hurt but the suspension was unable to move Roy’s determination, not even by a whisker.
This night there is nothing more to think. No police uniform, no pending cases, no chases and no solutions.
It’s been a while that Roy had gone through something like this. He can’t even remember the last time when he was completely idle. This was such a day. Drinking his limited quota and couple of smokes, he walked to the cashier. He decided to pay the whole amount unlike before where he would get discounts. Taxi’s were waiting outside in a designated area and he walked to one of them and got home.
The next day morning he woke up to loneliness again. Four walls of his well furnished house, the ceiling fans with those blades rotating fast and other mundane things filled up his eyes. He had forgotten how the balcony looked like, which he hadn’t used in so long. There was a small column news in the newspaper on his suspension. He couldn’t care less and put down the newspaper. After finishing his coffee, he decided that for the evening he would visit St. Stephen’s church which was around 60 km from his place. The only place Roy visited at times and something that had become a vice.
The location of the church was worth mentioning. Located on a small hilltop, the church had an irresistible surrounding. It was the silence, serenity and the calmness that Roy enjoyed more than the church itself. The head of the church was Rev. mother Christina and he was actually very fond of her. Every word of her’s made sense though he has met her not more than 3 or 4 times. Couple of times in the garden he had got the privilege to talk to her in person and it was amazing to find her love for the children in Orphanage there. It was a well maintained Orphanage and it was only because of her.
Evening arrived but not so swiftly as it used to before. He drove towards the church with the intentions of spending his evening there. That would calm him a bit and would be a much necessary aid to his loneliness at least for this evening. Sure the place was mesmerizing and he found solitude walking through the church, adjoining gardens and watch the kids play football in the ground. Rev. mother Christina arranged for some coffee and spent some time with him talking about the activities of the church. She didn’t find herself busy as it was not a busy day in general.
A couple of days later Roy got a call from her. It was strange and surprising as this was the first time someone was calling him from the church. She mentioned about a young girl child who was on the doorsteps of the church this morning. She asked him if he could drop by that evening and they could discuss about it. He was more than happy to oblige.
That evening he visited the church again and the Rev. mother made arrangements for their discussions in the garden bench over a cup of coffee.
‘Roy, I am sorry to bother you. But I thought you could help. I trust you as well and didn’t want to elate the issue to management of the missionary. That would have other complications…’ she started her words with on an apologetic note.
Roy told her to feel free to share whatever she has in her mind, upholding the calm look on his face.
‘There was this small girl, Roy. Maybe 3 years sleeping on the stairs in front of the church early. I saw her before going for my walk. Early as 4 AM in the morning. She looks from a well off family. I think it is a case of child missing. Adorable child.
I cannot keep her here due to some complications. I need permissions and I need funds to provide food for her. You know how the Orphanage works son. I was wondering if you could…’ she gives a long pause.
Roy urged her to complete her sentence.
‘If you could keep her with you for couple of days or so and in the meanwhile find her parents. I know you are not in duty but if you can help, that would be a great thing.’
Roy looked cold throughout the conversation and at the end he just nodded saying, ‘It shouldn’t be a problem mother. Did you ask the kid about her whereabouts?’
‘Yes I did son. But this kid doesn’t have a clue of that. She is only two or something and even keeping her smiling is a big task’ the mother smiled as she completed the sentence.
Roy was emotionless and he asked the mother if he could see the little one. The mother took him to the room and passing that was the other side of the garden where she was busy with some sisters. The kid looked adorable. Very fair and very chubby she was. Curly long hair covering half her face as she ran around and Roy could see the sister from the church already adored the kid. But he was concerned about other problems that the kid had brought with her.
He walked back with the Rev. mother explaining to her about the various scenarios that he could face. But alas he accepted to take the kid with him and do something about the her. It was hard for the Rev. mother to get the kid ready before she sent her with Roy. The little girl wouldn’t go with him but later on they did manage the feat somehow. By the time they were back home, the kid had already asleep. Roy had to carry her to his flat and the moment he opened the flat he realized that the air carried a smell of cigarette smoke. After keeping the doors and windows open for a while and running the air cooler at full blast to increase the circulation, he later transferred the kid on to his bed and he used the couch for the night.
The next morning he called up couple of people and got an old experienced lady as his house maid for couple of days so that he could look into the possibility of finding the kids parents and not be bothered by the taking care of the kid part. The lady could be trusted with the child as it was from a known source and Roy didn’t have any confusions in that. Once the lady arrived and things settled down, Roy got to work and started investigating on any leads as to who left the kid near the Orphanage. He tried his level best with the help of all his sources but in vain. He returned home to see the gleefully playing child. She had already painted half of the walls with crayons. He looked at the caretaker hopelessly and just shook his head in utter disapproval. The house looked like a mess but alas it looked lively to him unlike all these years. He had left the old lady with some money to buy the necessary things needed for the kids short stay and crayons were a part of it.
Finally after the lady left, Roy had to take care of the kid and it was not difficult to get the kid to fall asleep. It seemed like she had a long day.
Roy sat by the side of the bed looking at the kid. In his late twenties and his early thirties the debate in his mind was whether to find a suitable woman and get married or just carry on. The latter part had won the argument. The main reason was that he realized that he wouldn’t make a good family man and hence chose to continue the way it was but he sure missed the little things in life. Little chaos, the running errands and smaller things that made life worthwhile. But he never regretted the decision, for his professional life had taken hits sometimes and some other times it had taken dangerous turns.
Things went on for 3 days and he had to extend the house maid’s service to 7 days. He had tried his luck everywhere but no one had a single clue that would help him return the kid to where it had to belonged. Roy was getting frustrated as he couldn’t keep this going for long. Though he cared least for the media, they would have all there reporters bugging him all the time if they found him with this kid.
Every single day apart from seeing the kid happily playing, there was no other news that could bring joy to him…
(To be contd…)