Monday, October 5, 2009

One in a Million

When my eye caught hold of her, she was hugging a tree. More like wailing to it, actually. What made her catch my eye? I don't know. But when she did, I was in the interim of processing my surroundings. People rushing by, laughing, talking, or just simply minding their own business. Moms whizzing by with strollers at hand. Children, faces sticky from pink cotton candy, walking at somewhat slow paces in between the occasional running from ride to ride, from one thrill to the next. Colors clashing into one big mush , shooting from all directions.

And there stood a lonely little girl. My eyes locked with hers for a moment, and then she quickly looked away. She was obviously lost. I could tell from the way she buried her head in the tree's flaky bark. She wore a pink shirt to accommodate the long white skirt swept her bare toes. oh yeah, she was barefoot too, did I mention?

I slowly walked over to her and bent down to meet her eye level.

"Whats your name? Where's your mommy?"


"Are you lost?"

She turned her head away. I could hear her muffled sobs.

"Do you want to go find your mommy?"

her wailing was getting louder, yet she did not respond.

"Come, Ill take you to go find mommy."

I gave her my hand, but she didn't take it. Instead she looked away again. Her sobs were now high pitched. I spoke to her softly. There was no response until she finally relented and took my hand. We walked over to the moon bounce to retrieve her shoes. But when she couldn't find them, she relieved herself from my grip and ran back to the tree. Her tree. Her fort of hope.

I tried continuously to get her to budge and come with me to the information desk so that they could announce her name on the loudspeaker. But she wouldn't move. Her refusal to come was frustrating. But I knew that I couldn't leave her now.

By this point, we had attracted a small crowd of married couples that all tried to offer their best advice on how to get the kid to oblige. Someone suggested that we give her a lolly pop. Right. That's like playing the classical kidnapping scheme, and who said the child's mom hadn't used that exact example to educate her child with the dangers of abduction? And Speaking of mom, where was she anyways?

At long last, someone finally convinced her to come look for shoe again. This time she successfully found them squished between some burly men waiting for their kids to get off the moon bounce. She put them on slowly, making sure not to let me out of her sight.
When she was done, she stood up and took my hand, not leaving go for a second. How Ironic. just moments ago, she had refused to let me help her, and now she squished my hand so tightly, something I translated to mean that she was now relying on me for guidance. Now I was the tree, her fort of hope.

Hand in hand, we walked in between the rides, until finally arriving at the information stand. The kind Assistance woman bent down ans stroked the child's cheek. After acquiring her name, a set of announcements for the girl's guardian were made. I finally let out a huge sigh of relief. until the thought struck me. Why would anyone listen to the announcement? Why would anyone take interest? Nobody listens to them. Loudspeaker announcements are like music to the ears. Passive reminders to anyone that will listen, which isn't anyone at all. So really, what was the point.
Sure enough, the girl was picked up. Apparently someone did hear the announcement.
and heeded the call.
The same way I, one in a million, sought out a girl at a tree stump. No one was supposed to find her. But I did. Cuz that little lost girl reflected a little lost part of me. A little lost part of my soul. And somehow, someway, I heeded her call.
Cause you'll never listen to the call. Until you realize that they're calling your name.