22nd December, 1962.
It was a stormy night!
Oh, dear God, Save her!
The Senior forest officer, Jacob Simskins, pulled the blanket closer around his soaked skin as he stared at the thirteen-year-old kid, lying unconscious before him.
It had been almost three hours now that the medical department of the forest office was operating the kid. Lacerated brutally, the kid had been bleeding from almost every part of her body as if clawed by some wild creature.
Four hours ago, when Jacob was patrolling the western part of the Blue mountain ridge the thundering storm had begun. The furious rains had soaked his cardigan and his dripping hat had become more of a liability than protection.
Trudging against the rampant storm, the middle-aged officer could finally see a hazy patch of lights through the thick jungle. The forest office! A glow surfaced upon his weary face. At least a mile more!
Quickly, he fired a shot from his flare gun and a crackling noise blasted in the air with spectacular signal lights, just for a flash before vanishing.
Minutes passed, he had traversed a long portion of the mile, when all of a sudden, his gaze arrested over something that made him suspect his own eyes. What the hell!
Somewhere between the wildly stormy trees, a human-like figure lay motionless in the puddle of watery blood.
He unbuckled his shotgun, unlocked it and posed its muzzle for safety, scanning everywhere. Quickly, he lunged before the figure when he saw it was the body of a kid in a lashed and torn frock, muddled with blood-belching wounds everywhere. But Simskins realized she was breathing.
He placed his gun back, lifted the fragile lump of bloodened flesh and scurried longer strides towards the office now. Faster than before…
The doctors had washed her wounds with disinfectants sterilizing them. Convoluted bandages around her arms and head.
Jacob watched silently. The rugged man realized his heartbeats have gone faster but it was not the trek that triggered the rush but something else.
God has given me another chance!
The violent turmoil of his son’s death three years ago still haunted him. The seven-year-old Arthur Simskins had died of a severe Cerebral haemorrhage. Mourning his loss for months, the forest officer had lost all the taste of his life but a man once gone, never returns.
God has given me another chance. I must not lose it!
The doctors finally turned towards their Officer.
‘The vitals are stable, Sir!’ one of them spoke. ‘However, he had a severe hit over his head due to which there was an acute blood loss to the brain. He may lose his memories.’
His eyes filmed with tears, Jacob looked up. In the same instant his face contorted in confusion. ‘He? What do you mean, he?’ Simskins blurted, ‘Isn’t the kid, a girl?’
‘No sir. It’s a boy. A boy in girl’s clothes!’
The threesome exchanged confused looks. One of the doctors asked. ‘Who is he, Officer? Who’s the kid?’
Officer Simskins was staring blankly at the boy who lay unconscious upon the table. His blond hair reminded him of his son.
God has given me another chance. I must not lose it.
Jacob did not speak. Seconds later, his lips finally parted. ‘He is… my son,’ his eyes widened. ‘He is Arthur Jacob Simskins.’
13 years later.