Whenever upset, Leena would sit alone on a bench in the park nearby. She had started going to her new school this year after her father’s transfer and had made some new friends but hadn’t met them for weeks due to lockdown. She was the only child and was dear to everyone.
Today, the six year old had an argument with her father about not meeting her friends at their home, as she thought that home was a safe place? Prakash, who was a single parent and was juggling between work and home, told her sternly that it was not yet safe to go out.
With tears in her eyes, she ran straight to that park bench. An hour passed and she was still sobbing, wiping her tears, waiting for her father to come.
As soon as she closed her eyes to rest her head, she felt something tickling her toes. Reluctantly she said, “Please Papa, today I am not coming back home.” There was utter silence and the tickling didn’t stop. She was about to yell but only then she noticed a little furball close to her feet, nuzzling its nose into her toes. She could not resist herself and took it in her arms, cuddling it gently. There was a note around its neck which had “From your Secret Pal” written on it. She was so happy to meet her new friend that she forgot about the secret pal in excitement.
She ran towards home and looking for her father squealed, “Papa, look who’s here, my new friend.” Prakash asked surprisingly,”But where did it come from? Who gave you this puppy?” Completely lost in the world of joy, she couldn’t listen to him and kept mumbling.
Prakash breathed a sigh of relief with a subtle smile on his face and resumed back to work.