Enjoying myself with my cousins sitting on the edge of the hill surrounded by soft lush green grass mesmerized by the beauty of nature as usual. The breeze brushed my face like drops of rain. There was quietness except for the water flowing down from the river and the buzz of the bees. It all just made nature cheerful and captivating like the sunset that lays down every day over the gardens of flowers.
Suddenly Ellie broke the silence, “I am HUNGRY!!”, she said standing up.
We both laughed and grinned at her.
“Girls and boys! Come inside. Tea is ready.” Mom’s voice came in from the back. We all stood up and swept the grass which clung in our frocks and pants.
Daniel started to run, “I am going to win the race”
“Hey! You didn’t even say that we were doing the race?” Ellie called out running to catch him up.
We all started running and got freshen up. The table was set down by mom and Aunt Aleeza.
Aunt Aleeza is a very kind woman. The thin folding lines which were becoming more and more visible day by day made her look pale and weak. A woman all alone by herself. She was someone I knew without grudges. All she held was happiness and a big smile on her face until Uncle Mark had died.
The dishes were appetizing. My mouth filled with water. The hot bacon, the small jars of jams, the hot cocoa milk, the jelly tarts and the most delicious Mango pie were kept beautifully on the round table.
It had been a long time we had lunch. The long walks near the river, climbing up and down the hills, all that energy needed was used up.
Sitting down in the chair I made my backstretch. My legs regained their energy back and I could feel alive once again.
Daniel dragged the chair down and sat making a rueful noise. we all sighed. I am used to it and hopefully the others too. he is annoying. very much.
“This Mango pie. Yummy! I just love it.” I said munching on the soft cores of it.
The others were enjoying it too.
We were just in the middle of this scrumptious, appetizing tea when we were interrupted by a knock on the door. I turned around to see who it was as Aunt Aleeza went to check.
“No one seems to be here…” she said, about to close the door when she saw a letter down. She picked it up and opened the letter.
“What is it, Aunt?” Ellie asked with a mouthful of jelly tarts.
“I don’t know what it is.” she said “It looks like-" and then she stops.
"What does it look like?" I ask her curiosity taking over me.
""PLEASE HELP ME ANNIE" this is what's written,"
“What have you been up to Annie?” Mom asked me in a stern voice.
I was already taken aback. Why would someone ask me for help?
“I haven’t been up to anything Mom. I just don’t know who this is?” I replied.
“It’s maybe a prank someone is playing around. There are so many kids around here. Let’s just forget it and have our tea.” Daniel said he was quite angry for the person who interrupted him in his world of food.
Mom even thought it was a prank and she went in with Aunt Aleeza. As everyone agreed this as a prank, the letter still troubled me. Was someone really in trouble? Who could it be? Should I help them? Thoughts kept on coming on my mind and I couldn’t play Ludo properly. I lost the game but this time it didn’t matter.
I went in the kitchen and saw that Aunt Aleeza had thrown it in the bin. There was not much garbage in the bin and the letter was clean. I sneaked into the kitchen and came out with the letter in my hand. Ellie and Daniel saw it.
“Annie, do you think that someone is really in need of help?” Ellie asked like she could read what was going on in my brain. Ellie indeed could. She was observing me from the time the letter came and knew there was something troubling me.
“You girls are so perturbed.” Daniel said giving a sigh.
I kept quiet as I was examining the letter. My eyes moved from left to right. Right to left and when I flipped the paper, there was a place for scratching there.
We looked at each other. I was about to scratch it when…
“Annie, Ellie and Daniel. Supper is ready. Come fast.” Mom called in from the kitchen. I hid the letter under the sofa cushion hoping that mom or Aunt won’t find it.
I just kept quiet wondering what could be behind the scratch. I was mentally somewhere else and physically somewhere else and I dropped the spoon spilling the hot soup around the table and dirtying my clothes. I looked at my mom, biting my lips and my eyes lowered.
“It’s not a matter of fact spilling soup around the table. Kids do that. No problem dear Annie….” She said in a soft voice but no, she started to scold, “Were you dreaming? Can’t you hold a spoon properly? What is troubling you so much?”
“Aunt it’s just that…” Daniel burst out his mouth open when Ellie kicked him in his leg under the table to keep his mouth shut “ARGGGGGH!” Daniel cried.
Aunt Aleeza gave him a stern look. After that no one spoke a word. We finished our supper and Aunt cleaned the table.
In the meanwhile I took the letter out and went to my bed. I waited for Ellie and Daniel to come. They came in a short while and I started scratching the back of the letter with a coin.
“Annie please meet me near the bus stop of Jill gates at 11. There is something really important I want to tell you. You can bring your cousins too. Maybe they can also help. Your friend Jayden”
“OMG! Jayden! He lives on the other side of the hill. What is so important he want to tell me?” I thought.
“Us!” Ellie and Daniel said narrowing their eyes. I laughed.
Tomorrow was Sunday which meant mom will take us to the market and we will be allowed to use our allowance. That was the chance we could meet Jayden.
I narrated my plan to Ellie and Daniel.
“Wow! You are a mind master.” Daniel appreciated.
“Yes, I am. Not all girls are perturbed.”
We made our beds and went to sleep.