The fragrance of freshly brewed coffee from the cafe below our office filled the air. I wished I were home but there was still work left to do at this late hour. I took out my diary from the drawer and continued where I left. The last entry, ‘he just left. They have not been able to trace him’ brought me back to its beginning.
“So, nobody in the village knew where he came from?” I asked Mr Solis.
“No. He just showed up from nowhere. Like that,” he cocked his head towards the plump 3-year-old boy who was only wearing shorts and happily playing in the rain with another kid.
“He refuses to wear a shirt,” the village head chuckled. I smiled.
He then continued, “When I found him he was surrounded by pigeons. He didn’t look lost or abandoned. When he saw me, he grinned the widest grin I’d ever seen in my life and started calling me ‘dada’. When I asked him whom he was with, he shook his head and said, ‘My brothers. My sisters’.
‘Where are they? Are they with you?’
‘They are everywhere!’ he answered, spreading his little hands in the air.
“I couldn’t get what he meant by ‘everywhere’ but when a group of youngsters passed by, he called them brothers and sisters, giggled and danced, clapping his hands joyously. I took him home and he began calling my wife ‘mama’.” He smiled; his eyes looked amused.
He then continued, “News spreads quickly in our little village. Before long neighbours turned up one by one. He called all the adults mama and dada, and all the children brothers and sisters. I can’t explain it but he did something to our village. He turned us all into one big caring family, biologically connected or not.”
“Is that why your people want to adopt?” I clarified.
“Yes! Even the newly-wed couples have decided to take care of orphans and give them loving homes.”
“It’s commendable!” I said. “His birthmark, it -,”
“We had it checked by an expert and he says that it has a curious resemblance to an ancient script. He deciphered it and told us that it means, All is one, one is all!”
I left that day feeling ecstatic. There was nothing more fulfilling than knowing a few unfortunate children were finally getting the love they deserve.
Three weeks later I went back to the same village to announce the good news. I was greeted with sad tidings. The love-child had left, he had disappeared without a trace.
Hence, the last entry in my diary.
I rubbed my temple thinking of the extraordinary child who had come and gone causing such profound changes in the village. An odd mixture of sorrow and joy filled my heart.
Just then my phone rang.
The chief of a nearby village called to inform me that there were requests for multiple adoptions from his village and he wanted to know the requirements.
“The miracle child is back!” I screamed in rapture.
Rham Dhel is a vegan who dabbles in writing fiction. Her stories usually involve humans trying to find meaning in a world in disconnect with its animal inhabitants. She's an eco-child, a friend to all creatures, and a defender of the meek and mute beings of the wild.