The door-bell rang frantically early in the morning. Half asleep, Anu opened the door to see a little girl, about 7 or 8 year old, bleeding and shivering.
“Anu didi,” she pleaded, “Please help my friend. She is in danger.”
Anu was astonished. How did the girl know her name?
“Please come in,” Anu gently pulled the girl’s arm. It was bony and smooth. “Your forehead is bleeding badly. Let me put ointment.”
The girl had large, gorgeous, dark eyes on a small, flat round face. There was something about her deep captivating eyes.
Anu gently tended her bruise and inquired.
“How do you know me? Have we met before?”
“Almost everyone in our locality know you, didi. For your kind nature and service in the animal welfare NGO.” She replied.
“What’s your name? You said your friend is in danger. What happened?”
Her face fell. “My name is Diana. Jenny is my best friend. But early morning, I saw her being dragged out of her house into a car. Her scream woke me up. I tried to save her. There were four men. I even bit one of them hard. But they hit my head with a knife. Somehow I managed to chase them.”
“I admire your bravery, risking your own life for your dear friend.” Anu patted Diana.
“Didi, you are no less. You rescue road-side animals without any fear. Once I saw you admonish a cruel man stoning an innocent cat. That’s the reason I have come here for help.”
Diana’s sad eyes pierced Anu.
“Do you know their hideout?” Anu asked.
“They took her to an abandoned house in the jungle. I could hear screams of many other children there. One man said they would be shifting all the children to another location tonight.”
“Child trafficking!” Anu gasped. Recently there was news about missing children and a gang involved in the abduction. She had to act quick. Time was running out.
“Hop on.” She instructed Diana, putting on her helmet. A few quick calls and they were on. The animal rights activist was on a manhunt this time.
On the way, couple of police vehicles with armed men and Anu’s NGO colleagues followed her bike. Diana led them to the exact location. The gang was taken by surprise as they had least expected any intrusion. They were soon arrested and the children were freed. Amidst the chaos, Diana was lost. Anu frantically searched everywhere, but she was missing. Despaired, she asked Jenny about Diana.
“I was so sure Diana would help me. She must be waiting for me at home.” Jenny spoke enthusiastically.
Back home, Jenny’s parents were thrilled to see her safe. Jenny rushed in calling Diana. Anu eagerly waited to ask her why she left without informing. Anu’s eyes widened with disbelief as she saw Jenny walk in with her pet pug, bruised on the forehead. Those captivating, large black eyes stared into hers while licking Jenny’s face, as if saying ‘thank you’.
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