When two policemen patrolling a busy street find a lost little girl, they help her get home. They then learn that not only was she alone, but that she has something troubling to say about her 18-year-old brother.
Sometimes a child’s innocent and honest answers can hide a chilling truth. That’s exactly what Baytown police officers Alex and Smith encountered while patrolling a busy street one evening.
«Hey, Smith, do you see that little girl over there?» — Officer Alex asked, noticing with curiosity a pretty little girl wandering lonely along the sidewalk. «She looks lost. Come on, let’s go see her.»
But before the police could approach the girl, she carelessly bumped into a group of men chatting on the side of the road.
«Quick, before they take her away!» — Alex shouted as he saw one of the men point the girl toward the car. Something didn’t seem right to the officer. Who knows what might have happened to the girl if two police officers hadn’t come to her rescue that day…
«Hey, back off, the girl’s coming with us,» Alex threatened, «Get your hands off her.»
«Relax, officer. We just wanted to take her home. We know her address,» one of the men said and fled with the others.
However, Officer Alex knew he could not trust them with the child. The man may have known her address, but the child was not safe with them. He looked at the girl.
«Hey, what are you doing here alone?» — Alex asked, «What’s your name, and where’s your mom?»
«My name is Ryann, and I’ve been trying to get home from ballet class,» the girl replied.
The officers looked around, and at first they thought her parents were coming for her. But after five minutes no one showed up, so they decided to take the girl home. They had no idea what they would soon have to face.
«Rayann, where’s your mom? Do you have her number so we can call her?», Smith asked the girl.
«No, I don’t have her number. And my mom’s not home.»
At this point, the two police officers began to suspect something was wrong. They asked Rayann for her address, and she told them she didn’t know it.
«…But I can tell you about the building next door. And the trees. And the park. My house is somewhere near them,» Rayann said.
Determined to get the girl home safely, the officers wrote down the places she mentioned. After some discussion, they determined that the place was a half-hour away.
Throughout the entire trip, Ryann never once said anything or smiled. Instead, she cried quietly and refused to tell them why. She looked lost and worried about something.
Officer Alex guessed that something was wrong, but it wasn’t until she showed up on the girl’s doorstep that the unpleasant truth came out.
«Ryann, is this your house?» Alex asked the girl, pointing to a secluded house away from the neighbors. «Can you call your parents to come out for a minute? We’ll wait here by the house.»
Ryann said nothing. She picked up a small jar on the doorstep and pulled out her house keys. She unlocked the door and slammed it shut without a word.
«What’s going on? Does she live here alone?» exclaimed Alex, «Smith, we have to find out. Let’s go in and check.»
«But we’re late, Alex. She’s back home, safe and sound. She should be all right now. Let’s go,» Smith said. «Anyway, we told her to call 911 if there was any cause for concern, and she agreed. Now let’s go, let’s go.»
In the back of his mind, Alex had a strange feeling that something was wrong. He refused to leave and burst into the house, only to see the little girl burn herself out.
«My God! Get back! Be careful, don’t move! » he shouted, running up to the girl. «Rayann, watch out for the flames!»
It turned out that Rayann was heating the milk as she tried to move the pot away after it began to boil and bubble.
«Careful… Did you burn your finger?» asked Alex as she put her finger under the faucet. «Look, why are you alone, and where is everyone else?»
At this point, Ryann began to talk. At first she mistook the policemen for strangers and remembered that her mother had warned her not to talk to strangers. But after Alex rescued her, she began to trust him and talk.
«Mom and Dad are away at Grandma’s and will be back tomorrow,» she reported.
«Tomorrow? They left you home alone?» — Alex exclaimed. It was then that little Ryann discovered another surprising truth about her older brother.
«No, I’m not alone… My brother Jason was supposed to pick me up from ballet class. But he didn’t show up, and I waited a long time,» she said.
«Jason? Where is he now? Do you have his number?»
«No, I don’t. He said he was going to a club with some friends and would be back in time.»
The police understood where this was going. They immediately began searching for the phone numbers of Ryann’s parents and found the mother’s information in her desk drawer.
«…Yes, that’s right, Mrs. Jose. Would you please come right away? We’ll wait here with your daughter until then,» Alex informed Rayann’s mother.
The girl’s parents arrived an hour later and were shocked to learn that Jason had left his sister alone. In fact, they had asked their 18-year-old son to take care of her and never leave her alone. But in addition to being irresponsible, the boy didn’t think about the fact that he would feel bad about leaving his little sister alone.
«Jason, come home at once!» — Shouted his father Jacob. «I don’t care what you do, but I want you home in five minutes!»
Soon Jason came home and was reprimanded by his parents.
«Is this how you look after Rayann while we’re away?» — The mother yelled at her son. «I shouldn’t have left your little sister alone with you.»
«But Mom, I told her to wait outside the ballet school,» he objected. «I was just about to pick her up.»
«Go after her? Her ballet class ended at 3:00 in the afternoon, and it’s now 7:00 in the evening! Did you really expect her to wait outside for four long hours for you?» — The mother was angry.
His parents scolded Jason and took away his car keys and told him he wouldn’t get any more pocket money.
«No more money and no more car until you learn to be responsible,» Jacob yelled.
The parents could not thank the officers enough for bringing their daughter back safely. They realized their mistake and vowed never to leave their little girl alone.
«You see, Mr. and Mrs. Jose, it’s easy to trust our children to someone. But when that trust is broken, it can leave a scar that will never heal,» Officer Alex said.
«We’re sure you wouldn’t leave your little girl alone again. Sometimes even big kids can get carried away with their worldly desires, and we parents have to guide them well. We hope to see a responsible Jason soon.»
From that day on, Officers Alex and Smith became close friends with Jose’s family. They visited often and were even happy to hear that Jason had apologized and wanted to be a police officer one day.
«The responsibility starts at home! I’m glad your son Jason has chosen the right path, and I wish him the best of luck!» said Alex.
The officer is right. A person’s duties and responsibilities begin at home and extend beyond the home. But only time will tell if Jason will right his wrong and prove that he is responsible!